Here's an example of a shot where it's technically and artistically "better" photography than the casual shots I usually post, but this shot really doesn't do much for me, because beyond the technical and artistic, it doesn't feel nearly as expressive as the casual shots, and there's no emotional connection. So the question is, do I strive for technical/artistic excellence or do I focus on just capturing the subject in the most natural and expressive manner? While there are opportunities when I might be able to achieve both, situations like that are very few and far between because people just don't frolic about in beautiful lighting with uncluttered photogenic background in domestic daily life (unless living on a beautiful ranch or by a lake or something). So I shoot in environments and lightings that aren't ideal, because those are the environments we actually live in, go shopping in, and walk around in.
Now, in comparison, this shot below is along the lines of my typical casual shooting, with Elena in our kitchen, in front of a cluttered background, just being herself, no makeup, wearing whatever she went to be bed in. But I like this shot so much more because she is totally natural in that moment, in a comfortable environment that makes her happy.