Each image has three main points of contact.
What does your image need to say? How are we going to say it? The first idea is okay, but it's that third+ one that generally takes the cake.
This step is full of brainstorming and sketches.
In this phase we get to roll-up-our-sleeves and match our craft to the concept.
Wether it's teaming up with an expert woodworker, hand-crafting sets/subjects out of paper/clay/jello, expertly lighting, and photographing the scene, this is where ideas come to life.
Ah. The magic of Photoshop. This is where your image gets the tender loving care it deserves.
This goes beyond pixel perfect, but more like transforming Peter Parker into Spiderman, without the pesky radioactive materials.