Sorry I cannot help myself - just had to do another altered cabinet photo, they are so addictive!
Start with your photo -
Have a think about what you want to do with it - I knew I wanted her to be Steampunk and wear a hat. Cover the whole photo with artist quality gesso (the most important bit - dont use craft gesso!)
Overpaint all the negative areas (areas you dont want showing) with White Acrylic, keep it quite thin. Once again dont use craft paint - use artist quality (americana, jo sonja etc) Artist quality has a better ratio of pigment and wont fade.