One of the easiest ways to highlight your subject is to control your depth of field... otherwise known as your aperture.
How MUCH of your subject is in focus. Below is my photo of the day, a bracelet that was in the studio recently crafted by Crafty Gal Creations. I selected a shallow depth of field, or a SMALL aperture setting so that the front would be in focus and the back would blur, drawing your eye to the details in front.
Remember, the smaller your aperture setting (f2.0 or f1.8 etc.) the MORE light you are letting in, and the less depth of field you will have. If I wanted to shoot the same image and have it all in focus I would have turned up my lights and selected a higher number of aperture perhaps a f8, or f11) to create that effect.
Verte Tip: Aperture settings can be selected on MOST cameras! If your camera has the options for P, S,A, M you can select A for Aperture priority so you can select the Aperture and your camera will adjust the rest for you to create the proper exposure! If you have a point and shoot without those manual settings look for the "flower mode" in your presents - this typically has a smaller aperture, where the "mountain" mode is a larger aperture (meaning everything would be in focus)