I've been playing around in photoshop, learning more about the intricacies of photo editing. Here are some shots I've been working on... before and afters...
This is the "Before" picture (taken straight from the camera)
This was after cropping, color desaturation and maintaining blue eyes
This is after background extraction and working with various artistic effects
This is with more artistic effects and color dodging
This is the original taken straight from the camera
This is after keeping eyes blue and applying half intensity of black and white to photo -- looks a lot like hand-tinting a black and white photo
Let me know what you think -- they do look better when they're blown up to a full screen size, but my blog won't let me make them any larger (if you double click on the photo it does blow them up to an enormous size).