Without anything else to be seen than a face, there is no environment to create a mood or set a scene. If you're doing studies of a face, this may work, but as you said, these were candids. They would've worked much better with the inclusion of some surroundings. No offense intended, but these are the equivalent of paparazzi photos IMHO.
The backgrounds were very cluttered. I have cropped them. If I hadn't then I am sure that I would have been criticised for showing the cluttered background. Thanks for your feedback.