This is actually a rather interesting portrait for a few reasons. Usually when I look to portraits I think to myself: "That is not terribly unique, I've seen that sort of thing before in a fashion." Well that's not the case here. The direction from which the model enters the frame, is actually what strikes me the most. It creates a sense of flow that is often not in portraits. So originality was rated high on this one.
The vision. Well, seeing as there is no process written out below I have to make all inferences for myself. Not a problem, sometimes that's the goal of a photo, but seeing as I see no story to the photo (without forcing myself to make one up) I'm going to take off a star and a half. Do I believe a story could be put to this photo? Easily.
The technique is pretty good, the photographer has proper exposure, uses the rule of thirds as it applies to portraiture, the DOF is not too important a factor, but the model is crisp which is important. It just appears that the photographer has a strong control over their camera so nearly perfect technique.
The impact. Well, I actually don't muck like the black in contrast to the skin tones and sand. It's personal, but stepping back from my personal begrudging it is a solid portrait. The models expression is strong, not blank. I believe it's adaptable enough to show longing, desire, sorrow, or peace, depending upon the story the viewer makes in their own mind. Overall, this is a well put together photo.