With respect to the first image, it is a strong photograph, but unless it is somehow a representation of someone who has a real connection with that environment (the person in it is either a performance artist or a marine biologist who likes to work in a sheet), I think it might be stretching it to call it a portrait.

The second shot is a strong photograph as well, but if it is to appear as a portrait, rather than essentially as a performance, than it might actually require a caption (e.g. "the bereaved young widower").

On my non-calibrated monitor, the second shot is a bit "open sky" blue. That may very well be intentional, as it could suit the mood.

I'd echo John's comments about the burning in of the corners.

Hope this helps.

Matt

P.S every time I see the title of this thread, I'm tempted to start singing "Please critique me, let me go" (and you don't want to get me singing).