Part of what's so strong about his images is the tight unity he's achieved by keeping certain elements in line... ( if the body of work were to cover a broader range of emotion the impressions we would gather from it would also not be so pristine... and so, we might end up with a "mixed" bag of feelings for the totality of the portfolio... as it is, the message is clear... which, I think, is part of what a good portfolio should do for the viewer... BE CONCISE)

Most obvious is the control of tones throughout... it's beautiful to see a oeuvre where you can tell the man's mastered what he does...

Some other things that struck me -
His use of space.... unless an individual in the focus, he gives them some room up front.... he's careful to compose such that he never looses the illusion of space.. he's shooting from the same POV throughout .. . his compositions are well resolved... I don't remember any images where the subject was either entering the frame or leaving the frame (half way though it)... he's got everyone IN the picture....

Another element that I think is emotive, is that whether we like it or not, there is a certain romanticized image of rural life.. and these images play to that concept... Many of the images depict "perfect" examples of this or that "character" from the farm-mythos....

It seems JR was a man in love with his surroundings, and it shows in his images... not only in the tonal and compositional qualities he's expressing.. but also in his careful editing of character and narrative content...