how to use reference photos in midjourney
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How to Use Reference Photos in Midjourney

When embarking on a creative journey, whether it be painting, writing, or any other artistic endeavor, reference photos can play a crucial role in capturing the essence of your subject. In the midst of your creative process, reference photos can serve as a valuable tool to bring your vision to life. In this article, we will explore the various ways you can effectively use reference photos in your midjourney.

1. Choosing the Right Reference Photo

Before delving into the details of how to use reference photos in midjourney, it is essential to select the right photo. Here are some tips:

  • Choose a photo that aligns with your artistic vision and desired outcome.
  • Ensure the photo has clear details and captures the essence of your subject.
  • Consider the lighting, composition, and perspective in the photo.
  • Look for reference photos that evoke the emotions or mood you want to convey.

2. Analyzing the Reference Photo

Once you have chosen a suitable reference photo, it is important to carefully analyze it to understand its elements. Here's how:

  1. Observe the overall composition and layout of the photo.
  2. Identify the main subject and any supporting elements.
  3. Notice the lighting and shadows in the photo.
  4. Pay attention to the colors and textures present.
  5. Study the perspective and proportions of the subject(s).
3. Using the Reference Photo as a Guide

Now that you have analyzed the reference photo, it's time to utilize it as a guide in your midjourney. Here's how:

  • Begin by sketching the basic outline of your subject, using the reference photo as a reference point.
  • Focus on capturing the proportions and shapes accurately.
  • Refer to the reference photo for guidance on details, such as facial features or intricate patterns.
  • Use the photo's lighting and shading as inspiration for creating depth and dimension in your artwork.
  • Experiment with color choices, taking cues from the reference photo to achieve realism or artistic interpretation.
4. Incorporating Creative Freedom

While reference photos provide valuable guidance, it is important to remember that you have the freedom to interpret and add your own creative touch. Here are some ways to incorporate creative freedom:

  • Experiment with different angles or perspectives that deviate from the reference photo.
  • Blend elements from multiple reference photos to create a unique composition.
  • Explore alternative color schemes or exaggerated details to infuse your own style into the artwork.
  • Allow your imagination to guide you in adding personal touches and unique elements.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use reference photos from other artists?

A: While it is generally best to use your own reference photos to ensure originality, you can use reference photos from other artists with proper permission or by ensuring significant modifications to avoid copyright infringement.

Q: How can I make my artwork stand out when using reference photos?

A: To make your artwork stand out, try adding your own unique style, experimenting with different techniques, or incorporating elements that go beyond the reference photo.

Q: Can I use reference photos for commercial purposes?

A: It is essential to check the usage rights of any reference photo you plan to use for commercial purposes. Some reference photos may have specific restrictions or require permission from the original photographer.


Reference photos are valuable tools that can greatly enhance your creative journey. By carefully selecting and analyzing reference photos, using them as guides while incorporating your own creative freedom, you can bring your artistic vision to life. Remember to respect copyright laws and always give credit to the original photographers when using their reference photos. Now, armed with this knowledge, go forth and create masterpieces using reference photos in your midjourney!

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