Photographers often prefer one specific type of editing style suited to their own tastes. Here are some fairly common styles you'll see. Keep in mind there is a large variation and these are base examples. Think about this when choosing what fits you best. Also, Just because a photographer prefers a certain style of editing doesn't mean that they won't be open to another. The base of an image, the composition is really the most important part. Here are a few quickly edited examples of the same shot and the difference between the general styles.
Fairly true to life. Balanced colors and a representation of what you really see that day. The goal is to capture the image as it was seen.
Darkened shadows with a little crushing of the blacks creates a bit more of a dynamic picture. The shadows draw the eye to the highlights and brighter objects.
OK, this is a pretty sketchy example but you get the point. If you don't realize by now, i'm not really a fan of the "airy" look. General Images include blown out highlights, an overexposed image and desaturated colors.
Another example of a current trend. Lots of orange, the greens dropped down to amber/yellows and a little contrast.
Not moody but a little more bright. Shadows aren't underexposed for the most part and it makes you take in the entire image.
Black and White
B&W pictures are one of those things that all have to be edited slightly differently. Since you don't have color to draw the eye and create separation, it has to be done with the shadows, leading lines or composition. Some images are just stronger as black and white pictures than color. It's why i like to provide black and white copies of all of the color images I deliver so that the client has the option.
As you can see, each one of the pictures creates a different feel. Choose a style that captures the look and feel that you want.