Photoshop offers some amazing options to make your portraits stand out from all the rest. This simple option can make it seem like your subject is trying to jump off the screen at you. You'll be amazed!
Duplicate your picture layer by dragging the layer to the 'new' icon in the layers palette.
Apply a gaussian blur (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur). Blur it enough that the detail disappears but the shapes keep their form.
In the layers palette, change the blending mode from NORMAL to OVERLAY.
You can see that this method makes the light tones lighter, and the dark tones darker if you do a before and after comparison. It is actually boosting the contract of colors. If you want an even more dramatic effect, change the blending mode to VIVID LIGHT instead of OVERLAY.
Although you can do this with any kind of picture, the difference on portraits is quite EYE-POPPING!