This serves a few purposes for me. First, it lets me get a solid shot on the card, so if all my other creative ideas don't turn out how I want, at least they still have a nice picture. It also gives me a nice, neutral setting in which I can get a feel for the subjects. Even if you're shooting a close friend, they may be much different in front of the camera than they are at the bar. Lastly, it may just be the shot your subject wants. An epic landscape portrait may be your favorite from the session, but the one they want hanging on their wall may be the most basic of the bunch.