Upload & Sell: On
For the last wedding I did, I had a lot more time to be creative, since the bride had timed things out much more conservatively. So, I knew ahead of time that I wanted to try to start developing the next level in my work. My portfolio is full of great standard images, but very few "hero" shots. Nothing that's worth putting in a magazine.
You know what's interesting is that 99% of the bridal magazines out there just show standard and traditional images. So if you're saying that a lot of your images are standard, then don't get so down on yourself. There's lots to be said for someone who can execute a well lit and composed shot, even if it's not world-changing.
With regard to this particular photo, it's a bit hard to critique as a 'hero' shot without first knowing what you wanted to accomplish. I think for some a 'hero' shot means pretty light and for some it means that they incorporated lots of different elements. For some it's simply a beautiful detail. So maybe telling us a bit more specific idea of what your goals and brand are would help people be on the right track for critique.
I know that for me, something I would consider a hero shot is usually made up of 4 different things:
If I can accomplish all 4 of those things successfully, then I feel that I've got a 'hero' shot. If this happens once in a session or wedding, I'm psyched. Usually I only take a few a year that qualify for all 4 of those. So in breaking down your photo as a 'hero' shot, I'll look from my perspective on it.
I'd say that the expression is your strongest attribute in this. They look good and you caught them at the right moment. For me, the light is ok. It's not great, but it's interesting. The areas where I think the image is lacking are compositionally and with giving the viewer something extra to discover.
The hardest thing with weddings is to pull back from what you normally do and to step up to the plate and try something new. I really commend you for doing that. Seriously. In this image it looks like you stepped up and you hit a single. That's fine. Everyone needs to hit singles before they swing for the fences. Now you build on this and get a double next time.... It's good to see you pushing yourself, good job!