Before and After's
I personally LOVE seeing before and after images from the photographers I follow. Sometimes it's enlightening to see just how different the original RAW image looks. In the past I've been shocked when I've seen that the original photo didn't have that pop of color or perfect set up. Since then I've learned that a lot of magic happens in post production, but above all else, the most important thing to get right in your original image is the light. Now of course I still edit the light some, but I'm ENHANCING it. I never try to change the direction of the light. Nor do I try to use Photoshop to add in light on my subject that wasn't there or take away light that was falling onto my subject. As long as you have the correct PATTERN of light you want in your final photo you can always exaggerate it and enhance it later.
So below you'll see that a lot of my original shots look SUPER SUPER ROUGH. And yes it does make me a bit nervous to show them in all their exposed glory (sort of like hearing a knock on the door and opening it to see your friends when you haven't brushed your hair or teeth or even gotten out of your PJ's), but if seeing these helps any other artists out there then it's well worth it. Just know that Photoshop gives us awesome opportunities to paint a whole new world, but the human eye can easily (without even being aware of it) pick out fake or painted light. It just seems unnatural. So get your lighting right then go to town on creating the worlds inside your head!