How to create a bokeh effect in portrait photos

One question I am often asked is: how can I take the beautiful and soft blur background effect shown in the photo above.
Many new photographers have a misunderstanding that this effect can only be achieved by buying an expensive lens with a large aperture.
Although a large aperture will bring a shallower depth of field to your photos, people seem to have ignored or never heard of two other factors that can create this blurred background.

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