It is hard to define what constitutes cliche anyway Tom. Truly standout images sometimes use exactly the same technique and effect as loads of other less striking images that you or I might dismiss as cliched. Look at landscape photos - the long-exposure seascapes, the stumps and reeds sticking out of lakes, the Adams-style Yosemite mountain pics, etc, etc. All of these have been done to death and are still being done to death, but occasionally you see a shot that falls into one of these categories which is just an outstanding image for some reason, despite the fact that it could so easily have gone the other way...
The same probably goes for super-shallow depth of field portraits.
Ian