Start by photographing a portrait in a setting, and then use a manual selection method to select just the area of the person. The two most useful methods would be either a kind of lasso tool, with which you can draw an outline, or mask painting with a brush. Having done this, make any kind of adjustment to this area that makes it stand out more clearly from the surroundings.
Below is the original image prior to editing;
I have listed the steps I followed in order to enhance the image;
– Make a selection of the little girl using the lasso tool in Photoshop.
– Save this selection
– Using Curves, increase the contrast of the subject slightly
– Increase the brightness of the subject slightly
– Create a new colour balance layer, and increase the blue slider +10 in order to darken the colour of the subject’s coat. Also decrease the green slider to -9 in order to neutralise the colour of the little girl’s skin.
As you can see, the subject is much more prominent in the edited image, and the colours of her clothes are far more vibrant. I feel that the improvements work well without being too intrusive to the image. I experimented with editing this image, and decided that there was a point whilst increasing the contrast that the image became too fake and the editing felt illigitimate. Also increasing the colour sliders too much resulted in the image looking a little unrealistic too. Below is an example of the image being edited beyond an innocent legitimate adjustment.
This was an interesting exercise which further aided me in cementing my opinions on how much editing I am comfortable with.