One thing that I have discovered since doing microstock is that all photos are not used for journalism. Sometimes photos are wanted for their artstic appearance. For instnce, this is often the case with Adobe partners that sell Adobe Stock as posters and wall murals.
If anyone is interested, here are the steps I took in LRC and PS to convert the above photo.
1. Adjusted the Basic sliders.
2. Cropped the image to the "Golden Rule".
3. Did Lens Correction.
4. Highlighted the eyes with a local brush.
5. Did global noise reduction and sharpening.
6. Edited the image in Photoshop. Copied the original layer and applied an Gaussian Blur filter with 700% to create a background. Adjusted the color, brightness and applied a texture to the background. Copied the original layer again and removed the original background. I applied some smoke to the top and light flares to the eyes. I removed the foreground.
7. After saving in LRC, I readjusted the Basic sliders.