Two great examples of the effects of soft vs. hard lighting. You’ve done a lot of great things with both of these assignments. For starters your choice of color pallet is great. The photographs are not only organized from a composition standpoint, but also a color standpoint. Your first image is bluish / grey and pink while your second image has a stronger orange hue to it. The simplicity of the colors and the composition really make the woman’s eyes pop out. Beautifully done.
My only concern is with your hard lighting image. You’ve “blow out” or “burnt out” the woman’s face with the lighting. This is a common problem with digital cameras. They have a difficult time handing wide degrees of latitude. This will be something you’ll need to think about with any image that uses hard lighting. Blown out areas are completely white. It’s common to see skies “blown out”, but you need to be careful when your main subject has blown out areas on them, because effectively these areas are stripped of all detail. Your camera couldn’t handle the wide range of contrast and the compromise it made was to loose the detail in the woman’s cheek to expose the rest of the image properly. It’s a technical compromise.
However, you blown out areas are not always bad. You just need to be aware of it and try to work with it. Higher end cameras have an easier time handing this issue. You can see our blog post about this subject here. I highly recommend you read this article.