As to the first picture (mohawk man) I don't find it threatening, or exotic. He appears to me to be an accountant out for a wild day. The harsh sun is doing you no favors here either. The lighting is harsh. And because he is not looking to you, it means you aren't connecting with him through the lens. Maybe waiting for him to see the camera would generate more tension or interest. I can't really see the photographer in this photograph.