If you'll take a look at the following picture, you'll see what I mean about the subject in focus and the background soft:
Do you see how the subjects "pop" when the background is blurred? This is the setting you should use when you want to take a still portrait of a woman, girl, baby, horse (standing horizontally to you), dog, or a single flower or a flat group of flowers. It creates a romantic feel. Now I've upped that soft dreaminess with an action for Photoshop called "Glamour Blur," but this is basically what it looked like.
PS: You can duplicate Glamour Blur in Picnik by using the softness tool.