I guess I have a very different mentality toward portrait work. When I'm hired for a portrait, it's almost always by someone who has been through my website. And I almost always am given total freedom to shoot how I want. I just don't experience people telling me how they want the portrait to look. I do ask; every now and then someone will have a particular location in mind. More often than not, their response is, "I just want you to do your thing like the images you have on your website."
if someone hires me to shoot something, they tell me what they want, and i do it