oof, thats a horrible picture.You are nice! You want to be sincere but still nice to him.
OP; let's make a deal: if you want me to critique what you say then please read further,
But if you cannot take critique then please stop right now.I won't be nice.
Most likely you heard when they said that the first step in healing process is for the patient to realize that he is sick.
In order of importance, in portrait I value light, focus, expression, background and noise.
For sport and macro that would be different.
If you have heard someone saying that photography is about lighting, believe me he was not lying.
When I assess a portrait, that is the first thing I look at.
Your photo has the ugliest lighting ever.
Because of bad light, you should acquire courage and ask your subject to move to somewhere else, with a better light or where you can modify existing light (quantity, quality and direction).
In worst case scenario, you would pose him in such a way that lighting is the most flattering possible. In shooting concert for example, you wait for the expression as well as the right direction of light.
Dude, you could have asked him to chin up a bit so that the eyes were lit, or better yet use off-camera or bounce flash. Don't be shy. You are a photographer.
Your lighting technique sucks - available lighting !!!!
What is your focusing point? The nose? You shoot at f 1.4 that is shallow, you better be precise.
Expression is great. Not sure if that is your doing or just the subject was great. If it is yours then continue - good stuff, otherwise work on it hard.
Background: you suck again. You could have waited until that thing in green was gone. He is walking. Or simply, ask nicely for him to move.
Noise; you are at 35mm focal length, the subject is not moving, and yet you are at 1/200s - Justify it with non-importance of noise but I won't hear you. To me, that is just a lack of technique.
Maybe the subject likes this photo, but in my eyes, this is a total failure in all plans of my photography.
I wouldn't be surprised if your future bride sues you with this quality of photo.
As I said, the first step is in realizing that you are sick. Noise has no right to be good. It is not for nothing that everybody tries to shoot at ISO 100 whether they are from Camera Rumors or not. Creativity comes later.
I hope, you are not angry.
I am telling you what I see.
If you said, it is a good photo, I wouldn't argue. It is a matter of taste.
It is really ok to take good photos. I do that most of the time (if not almost).
But qualifying this as one of your favorites was too much for me; giving yourself the right to criticize people who do all to reduce noise in their photos just added salt to the wound.
Besisika might be strong in his comments but I would be grateful for an in-depth analysis if I was the photographer.
I agree with the content, of course.
This is a snapshot that could easily be taken with an iPhone with the same or similar results (which is good but not great). Your tools and your skills allow it to be transformed to a great shot. And Besisika described the how of it.
I saw a photo a few days ago of a friend and her daughter on Facebook. I was a great moment of bonding captured on camera, but the image was badly out of focus and noisy (taken with a D3200). It received hundreds of likes. However, an experienced photographer should have been able to transform this to something stellar. If you already have great content (subject) it is your privilege and responsibility as a photographer to record it the best way possible. Allowing noise to be there is one of the factors that is detrimental to that, as is sharpness. It isn't enough of a factor to make a great image into garbage, but if it can prevent the image from realizing its fullest potential, that should be avoided.
And I was actually serious about that Sigma front focusing