Ok, so it took me ALL evening to get reacquainted with photoshop again. It had been so long since I've used it, I forgot my tricks! I'm always trying to improve my editing because it's SO EASY to go overboard and make your pictures look too edited. It's so much fun and the effects can be so cool. But sometimes, a photo can end up looking worse than SOOC. I am guilty of this at times. I am trying to let myself learn that sometimes less is more.
In the photos above, the first one is SOOC. And the second is with a little help. Just a little. It didn't need a whole lot. Basically, a lot of the time all a photo needs is a little color boost, maybe some sharpness or contrast and in this case, a little owie eraser too. The lighting and bokeh were already fabulous so I knew if I just did a few things, this could really be a great picture.
I know it's not professional grade photo editing here, but considering I have taught myself EVERYTHING from figuring out my camera's manual settings to editing techniques in Photoshop CS5, it's not too shabby.
Oh, and it helps to have one of the cutest 5 year old models on the planet to capture!