Portrait Special Effects

You may begin to recognize the individuals in these photos.  They are my wife and son. Why so many photos of them you ask?  Well, they are cheap models...  Not to mention I take the opportunity to show my boy off as often as possible.

On with the show.  As a nature and wildlife photographer I typically did not work with any types of special effects.  Now that I have started working with portraits I am coming to realize that these special effects have their place.  Check out the differences between these before and after pictures and judge for yourself which are best.  Like all things in photography the term "best" is subjective.  Much of this depends on what the clients really want from their photography session.  So, what do you think about adding some special effects or "tweaks" to portraits...