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It works very, very well as a multi-layered memory. Perhaps less so as a classically artful photo.
B/W does look nice (played with it) but in color, the way the MUA's blouse changes the complexion of the sea is interesting. Maybe not a shot to frame and hang but certainly a keeper.
In any case, I think sometimes we get too hung up on aesthetic perfection to the detriment of the essence of what much of photography is about.
Memories count, Robin. Lovely concept and she'll be glad you took the shot. Well done.