How To Use Reference Photos in Midjourney? – The Easy Way


Midjourney’s AI-based Art Generator has revolutionized the way we explore and create art Using deep learning and neural networks, Midjourney has the power to transform reference photos into stunning works of art. As Midjourney experts, we’re here to guide you through the process of using reference photos to create art that is uniquely your own. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the art of combining inspiration from the real world with the limitless possibilities of AI-generated art.

Midjourney’s Art Generation Process

Before we dive into using reference photos, let’s briefly understand the magic behind Midjourney’s art generation process. Midjourney utilizes deep learning and neural networks, which are inspired by the human brain, to create art. These networks analyze patterns, textures, and styles, allowing Midjourney to mimic artistic techniques, from impressionism to abstract expressionism.

One of the most remarkable features of Midjourney is its ability to generate art from scratch without any input images. Imagine starting with a blank canvas and letting your imagination run wild while Midjourney assists in bringing your vision to life. We remember a time when we used Midjourney to create a surreal landscape inspired solely by a dream we had. It was a testament to the limitless creative potential of this tool.

The Role of Reference Photos in Art Creation

Reference photos play a crucial role in art creation, even when using an AI tool like Midjourney. They serve as a wellspring of inspiration and a guiding light throughout the artistic process. Whether it’s the intricate details of a flower, the majestic sweep of a landscape, or the subtle nuances of a portrait, reference photos provide a solid foundation for your artistic journey.

We vividly recall a time when we wanted to capture the essence of a bustling cityscape at twilight. We found a reference photo that embodied the mood we were aiming for, with its warm hues and the interplay of light and shadows. With Midjourney, we were able to translate that reference into a mesmerizing piece of art that embodied the energy of the city.

Preparing Your Reference Photos

To get started, you’ll want to gather a collection of high-quality reference images. These images should align with your artistic vision and provide the necessary details and inspiration for your artwork. Remember, the better your references, the more precise and vivid your Midjourney-generated art will be.

Choosing Images That Align with Your Vision

When selecting reference photos, consider your artistic intent. Are you aiming for a realistic portrayal, an abstract interpretation, or something in between? It’s crucial to choose images that align with your vision, as this will guide Midjourney in creating the desired outcome.

Ensuring Copyright and Licensing Considerations

Before using any reference photo, it’s essential to be mindful of copyright and licensing considerations. Ensure that you have the necessary permissions to use the images in your artwork, especially if you plan to exhibit or sell your creations.

Uploading Reference Photos to Midjourney

Once you have your reference photos ready, it’s time to access the Midjourney platform. Whether you’re a seasoned artist or a beginner, the user-friendly interface of Midjourney makes the process seamless and enjoyable.

Navigating to the Reference Photo Upload Feature

To upload your reference photos, navigate to the reference photo upload feature within the Midjourney platform. This feature is designed to make the integration of your reference images effortless.

Tips for Optimizing Reference Photo Upload

To ensure the best results, consider these tips when uploading reference photos:

  • Resolution Matters: High-resolution images capture finer details.
  • Multiple References: Use multiple reference photos to enrich your creative process.
  • Variety: Experiment with various reference photos to explore diverse artistic styles.
  • Composition: Pay attention to design and framing in your reference images.

Customizing Artistic Preferences

Midjourney offers a wide range of artistic styles, from classic to contemporary, abstract to hyper-realistic. Take your time to explore these styles and discover the ones that resonate with your vision. Personalize your journey by selecting the style that best suits your reference photos.

Adjusting Parameters for Style, Colors, and Composition

Midjourney allows you to fine-tune parameters such as style intensity, color palette, and composition. These adjustments enable you to tailor the output to your specific artistic preferences. Experimentation is essential, and you’ll be amazed by the diversity of results you can achieve by tweaking these settings.

Specifying Your Artistic Intent to Midjourney

Artistic intent is a fundamental aspect of any creative process. As you work with Midjourney, communicate your intent through your choices and adjustments. By doing so, you’ll guide Midjourney in translating your vision into a unique piece of art.

The Artistic Process with Midjourney

Once your reference photos are uploaded, and your artistic preferences are set, Midjourney’s AI algorithms take center stage. They analyze the reference images, interpret your creative choices, and begin generating your artwork. It’s a thrilling moment as you witness your vision taking shape.

Real-Time Preview and Feedback

Midjourney offers a real-time preview of your artwork as it evolves. This feature allows you to assess the progress and make adjustments as needed. It’s like having a virtual studio assistant providing instant feedback on your creative journey.

Iterating and Refining Your Artwork

Art is a process of continuous refinement. Don’t hesitate to iterate on your artwork with Midjourney. Experiment with different settings, add or remove elements, and refine until you’re satisfied with the result. Remember, art is about exploration and self-expression.

Exporting and Saving Your Artwork

Once your artwork is complete, it’s time to export it in a format suitable for your needs. Midjourney provides various options for exporting high-resolution art files, ensuring that your creations can be enjoyed in print or digital formats.

Choosing the Right Format for Your Artwork

Consider the purpose of your artwork when selecting the export format. If you plan to print your art, choose a high-resolution image format like TIFF or PNG. For digital sharing, JPEG or PNG formats are commonly used.

Saving and Organizing Your Midjourney-Generated Art

Organize your Midjourney-generated art systematically. Create folders or catalogs to categorize your work based on themes, styles, or projects. This not only keeps your creations tidy but also helps you track your artistic progress over time.

Tips and Best Practices

Here are some additional tips and best practices to enhance your Midjourney experience:

  • Experiment Fearlessly: Don’t be afraid to push the boundaries of your creativity.
  • Learn from Feedback: Embrace constructive criticism and feedback from the art community.
  • Stay Inspired: Continuously seek inspiration from art, nature, and life itself.

Combining Multiple Reference Photos

Combining multiple reference photos can lead to truly unique creations. For example, merging the serene beauty of a forest with the vibrant colors of a sunset can result in captivating artwork that blends the best of both worlds.

Troubleshooting Common Issues and Challenges

While Midjourney is designed to be user-friendly, you may encounter occasional challenges. Some common issues include image distortion or unexpected results. If you face such problems, consult Midjourney’s comprehensive support resources or reach out to the community for assistance.

Showcase and Share Your Art

Your Midjourney-generated art is a reflection of your creativity and vision. Consider exhibiting your artwork in galleries, art shows, or online platforms dedicated to AI-generated art. Sharing your work with the world can be an enriching experience.

Sharing on Social Media and Art Platforms

Harness the power of social media and art-specific platforms to showcase your Midjourney art. Engage with fellow artists, art enthusiasts, and potential collaborators. The digital age has opened up unprecedented opportunities for artists to connect and share their work.

Engaging with the Art Community

Joining the art community is a great way to gain exposure, learn from others, and receive valuable feedback. Attend art events, workshops, and webinars related to AI art generation to stay connected and informed.


In summary, the synergy between reference photos and Midjourney’s AI-based Art Generator unveils a realm of boundless creative opportunities. With the proper reference images, creative vision, and a touch of experimentation, you can create stunning works of art that captivate the imagination. As Midjourney experts, we encourage you to embark on this creative journey, pushing the boundaries of your artistry with the aid of cutting-edge technology. The future of art creation is here, and it’s waiting for you to explore its limitless potential.

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