How to Use Reference Photos to Improve Your Midjourney Creations in 2023


Midjourney is a best AI tool for creating visuals, art pieces, and designs. Using reference photos when working with Midjourney is a great way to refine your results, bringing in more details like composition, light effects, and color schemes. The right reference photo can make your art look more lifelike.

In this blog post, we’ll teach you how to use reference photos to polish your Midjourney pieces. We’ll cover a broad range of topics including:

What reference photos are and how they function in Midjourney

Reference photos are images you can use to guide Midjourney in creating the desired output. They can be used to dictate the composition, lighting, and colors of your design. You upload these images to Midjourney, and the AI uses them to generate your creation.

Ways to make Midjourney designs better with reference photos

Reference photos can elevate your Midjourney designs in several ways. They can offer specific information about your design, such as the composition, lighting, or colors you want to feature. For instance, if you aim to create a landscape image, you can use a reference photo to specify the particular elements you want.

Reference photos can also make your work more authentic and lifelike. By providing the AI with a solid basis for its creations, it can help you achieve more realistic results.

Moreover, reference photos can help spark your creativity. If you’re experiencing a creative block, reference photos can provide new ideas for compositions, lighting, and colors.

Simple Steps to Attach Images to Midjourney Prompts

Here’s an easy-to-follow guide on how to add images to your Midjourney prompts:

  1. Open the Midjourney website or app.
  2. Click the “Create” button.
  3. In the prompt field, write your prompt.
  4. Press the “Add Reference Images” button.
  5. Choose the reference images you want to include.
  6. Hit the “Save” button.

Controlling the impact of reference images on your Midjourney pieces

The impact of reference images on your Midjourney creations can be tweaked using the “Image Weight” parameter. This parameter is a number from 0 to 100, indicating the level of influence your reference images will have on the final product. The higher the Image Weight, the more your reference images will influence the outcome.

For instance, if you want the reference images to highly influence the creation, you’d set the Image Weight to 100. Conversely, if you want them to have less impact, you’d lower the Image Weight to a number like 50 or 25.

Tips for Using Reference Photos with Midjourney v5

Here are a few tips to enhance your use of reference photos in Midjourney v5:

  • Choose high-quality reference images. The quality of your reference images directly impacts the quality of your Midjourney pieces.
  • Use diverse reference images. Including a range of reference images can lead to more intriguing and creative pieces.
  • Try different Image Weight settings. Testing various Image Weight settings will help you discover what works best for you.
  • Utilize reference images to improve your prompts. Adding reference images to your prompts helps the AI understand better what you want it to generate.

Maximizing the Use of Reference Images in Midjourney

  • Go for high-quality reference photos. The clarity of your reference photos can impact the quality of your Midjourney creations. Ensure your reference photos are high-resolution and sharp.
  • Use diverse reference photos. Incorporating different types of reference photos can lead to more diverse and creative pieces. Try to include images that reflect different aspects of your creation, such as composition, lighting, and colors.
  • Play around with different Image Weight settings. Experimenting with Image Weight settings will help you find the ones that suit your needs best. If you want your reference images to heavily influence the output, set the Image Weight to 100. If you want less influence, lower the Image Weight to a number like 50 or 25.
  • Leverage reference images to enhance your prompts. Reference images can also be used to improve your prompts. By adding them to your prompts, you give the AI a clearer picture of what you aim to create.

How Image Parameters Impact Midjourney Creations

In addition to the Image Weight parameter, other image parameters can influence your Midjourney creations. These include:

  • Aspect Ratio: This parameter determines the dimensions of the creation that Midjourney produces. For example, if you use a reference image with a 16:9 aspect ratio, the output will be 16 units wide and 9 units tall.
  • Influence Weight: This parameter decides how much a reference image will influence the output. A higher influence weight results in a higher impact on the creation.
  • Color: The color of a reference image can influence the color scheme of the output. If you want the output to have the same colors as the reference image, set the color parameter to “Match Reference.”

Do’s and Don’ts When Using Reference Photos in Midjourney

Here are some helpful do’s and don’ts when using reference photos in Midjourney:


  • Use high-quality reference photos.
  • Include a variety of reference photos.
  • Experiment with different Image Weight settings.
  • Use reference images to enhance your prompts.


  • Use low-quality reference photos.
  • Rely on just one reference photo.
  • Set the Image Weight too high or too low.
  • Use irrelevant reference images for your creation.

Managing image aspect ratios and influence weights in Midjourney

You can specify the aspect ratio and influence weight of a reference image in the “Image Parameters” section of the Midjourney prompt. The aspect ratio is specified by entering a ratio, like “16:9.” The influence weight is set by entering a number between 0 and 100.

Strategies for choosing and using reference photos effectively in Midjourney

Here are some useful strategies for choosing and utilizing reference photos in Midjourney:

  • Start with a clear concept of your final creation. This can guide you in selecting the right reference images.
  • Look for high-quality and relevant reference images for your creation.
  • Try different Image Weight settings to see their effect on your outputs.
  • Use reference images to make your prompts clearer.


Using reference photos can greatly enhance your Midjourney creations. The tips outlined in this blog post can help you learn how to select the best reference images, use them effectively, and optimize your results.

With some practice, you’ll be able to master the use of reference photos and produce stunning Midjourney Images.

FAQs: How to Use Reference Photos

What is the process of attaching reference photos to Midjourney prompts?

In Midjourney, select “Create”, write your prompt, click “Add Reference Images”, select your images, and finally hit “Save”.

How do reference photos function within Midjourney?

Reference photos guide Midjourney’s AI in creating output, shaping aspects such as the composition, lighting, and color scheme of the design.

How can I control the influence of reference photos on my Midjourney pieces?

The “Image Weight” parameter, adjustable from 0 to 100, helps control the impact of reference photos on the final creation.

What should I do and avoid when using reference photos in Midjourney?

Do use high-quality and varied photos and adjust Image Weight. Avoid using low-quality, irrelevant photos and misusing the Image Weight parameter.

What are effective strategies for selecting and using reference photos in Midjourney?

Begin with a clear concept for your final creation, choose relevant, high-quality images, experiment with Image Weight, and use photos to enhance your prompts.

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