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Midjourney Tutorials

    Midjourney Portrait Tip #1: Think Like A Photographer

    Melisa E.
    I like to write about AI, image processing and ChatGPT. But my work is not limited to these subjects. Oh, and I never use AI to generate my content.
    Follow Me
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    › midjourney › portrait tips

    Oh and one more thing guys...I'm an independent author, I would be grateful if you shared this article around. I created this button below, just click and share the link.

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    How to create photorealistic portraits with Midjourney (version 4)

    undefined / porttrait, tutorial, tips, tricks, photorealistic, lifelike, better, portraits, midjourney, ai art

    This portrait was created in midjourney by using smoke as an added prop

    Please watch this video to support our content network 🙂

    What are some of the tips for creating photorealistic portrait images with Midjourney?

    You can add CineStill 800T to your prompt, which is film designed for low-light situations.

    CineStill 800T is balanced for "tungsten light." Tungsten light is the indoor lighting and candlelight. Tungsten lights are most commonly used at low temperatures, which naturally produce magenta, red, orange, and yellow overtones.

    Tungsten Light creates the effect of indoor incandescent lighting and even candlelight. Skin tones look particularly pleasing under tungsten lights. Which is perfect for portraits. Since there is some slight halation built in, sources of light in your images will glow with a lovely warmth.

    Midjourney Portrait Tips:

    Use these tips to create realistic Midjourney portrait prompts:

    • Tip 1: Use 6:9 aspect ratio.
    • Tip 2: Add lighting type: soft, dramatic, dreamlike, film light.
    • Tip 3: Add 80mm (or even 100mm) to your prompt - it's a portrait lens.
    • Tip 4: Use --testp to kick Midjourney AI into photorealistic mode.
    • Tip 5: Use facing the camera, 3/4 portrait or messy hair, or tilted head.
    • Tip 6: You can use shoulder level, to zoom out from the portrait.
    • Tip 7: Portraits are all about the eyes: add eye-related detail, makeup, smeared lipstick, etc.
    • Tip 8: Use names of famous photographers to lean more toward their style: Annie Leibovitz, Steve McCurry, Richard Avedon, Diane Arbus, Dorothea Lange. Look up "famous portrait photographers", pick your favorite style and add them to your prompt.
    • Tip 9: Use feminine names for female portraits - Emma, Katerina, etc.
    • Tip 10: Use masculine names for male portraits - John, David, etc.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg!

    It's believed using keywords like photorealistic doesn't really add anything to your prompt. You'd get better results by using different cameras and lens types.

    Photography Keywords For Improving Photorealism

    Learning fundamental photography settings will help a lot. Here are some settings/general things to research:

    • ISO
    • Cinestill 800T
    • White balance
    • Shutter speed
    • Aperture
    • f-stop
    • HDR
    • Bokeh
    • Bit depth
    • Exposure Value
    • Focal Length
    • Telephoto
    • Raytracing
    • The golden hour
    • Double exposure
    • Image stabilization
    • Prime/Fixed lens vs varifocal
    • Rule of thirds/the golden ratio
    • Color space (AdobeRGB, ProPhoto, etc)
    • Different film formats (32mm vs medium format, for example)
    • Types of lighting (natural, studio, hard light, diffused, polarized filter, etc etc etc)

    Speaking of film, Kodachrome.

    Also technicolor, though technically that's more a video thing.

    Kodachrome is the brand name for a color reversal film introduced by Eastman Kodak in 1935.[2] It was one of the first successful color materials and was used for both cinematography and still photography. For many years, Kodachrome was widely used for professional color photography, especially for images intended for publication in print media.

    To see how these tips were used to create natural-looking photorealistic portraits in Midjourney scroll down to see the actual prompts.

    Want to know one of the best Midjourney portrait tips?

    Research portrait photography (best lens, aperture settings.) Use dramatic lighting. Use props.

    Keep things simple. Millions of professional photographs were used to train Midjourney AI.

    Simply hinting Midjourney by using special keywords you can trigger a whole style without you having to spam the prompt with keywords, which might confuse the AI.

    Midjourney Portrait Prompt Tips with Examples

    Before making any Midjourney prompt, you'll want to think about art that already exists in traditional media. For example if you want to make portraits, you'll want to research camera equipment, lenses created specifically for portrait photography and other camera settings.

    I learned that 80mm camera with f 1.2 aperture settings is often used specifically for portraits. Adding these keywords to my Midjourney prompts drastically improved quality of portraits generated in Midjourney. As did using dramatic lighting and props, like smoke.

    In this portrait prompt tutorial we'll go over several techniques and prompt improvements that will help you make your portraits more realistic.

    Portrait Tip1: Woman with dramatic lighting and smoke (prompt)

    midjourney portrait prompt

    Prompt was used:

    soul, soulful portrait, spirit, personality, person, real, young female portrait, messy hair, blue diamond eyes, running mascara, smeared lipstick, personal portrait, candid, intimate portrait, smoke, smoky room, chest level, dramatic light, dreamlike light, photorealism, ultra detail, 100mm, f 1.2 --ar 6:9 --testp

    One interesting detail I noticed about Midjourney V4 is that it will leak style into parts of a prompt. For example, here smoke was used. But it also affected the eyes.

    Portrait Tip 2: Silver chain added as a prompt prop

    midjourney portrait prompt

    Prompt was used (added silver chain):

    soul, soulful portrait, spirit, personality, person, real, young female portrait, messy hair, blue diamond eyes, running mascara, smeared lipstick, personal portrait, candid, intimate portrait, smoke, smoky room, chest level, silver chains, dramatic light, dreamlike light, photorealism, ultra detail, 100mm, f 1.2 --ar 6:9 --testp

    To create a photorealistic, lifelike portrait, add props, like silver chain for example.

    Portrait Tip 3: Use "dramatic", "atmospheric", or "dreamlike" lighting

    Adding blurriness creates a more intimate portrait. This is already done with 85mm lens and close range (narrow focus) aperture settings. But you can add even more atmosphere to your portrait by using dramatic lighting.

    midjourney portrait prompt

    Prompt was used (added frozen snowflake in hair):

    soul, soulful portrait, spirit, personality, person, real, young female portrait, messy hair, blue diamond eyes, running mascara, smeared lipstick, personal portrait, candid, intimate portrait, smoke, smoky room, chest level, silver chains, dramatic light, dreamlike light, photorealism, ultra detail, 100mm, f 1.2 --ar 6:9 --testp

    Portrait Tip 4: Use keywords like personal, soul, soulful:

    Portrait is synonymous with personal image, because they isolate the subject.

    midjourney portrait prompt

    Prompt was used:

    soul, soulful portrait, spirit, personality, person, real, young female portrait, messy hair, blue diamond eyes, running mascara, smeared lipstick, personal portrait, candid, intimate portrait, smoke, smoky room, chest level, dramatic light, dreamlike light, photorealism, ultra detail, 100mm, f 1.2 --ar 6:9 --testp

    Sometimes Midjourney will generate a black and white portrait.

    Portrait Tip 5: Messy hair

    Add messy hair to create a more natural look.

    midjourney portrait prompt, black and white photo

    Prompt was used to create this image:

    young female portrait, messy hair, blue diamond eyes, personal portrait, candid, intimate portrait, photorealism, ultra detail, 100mm, f 1.2 --ar 6:9 --testp

    Portrait Tip 6: Use the phrase "shoulder-level" to zoom out of the portrait.

    Add "shoulder level" to your prompt, to zoom out of the portrait a bit:

    midjourney portrait prompt

    Prompt was used to create this image:

    female portrait, messy hair, shoulder level, blue diamond eyes, personal portrait, candid, intimate portrait, photorealism, ultra detail, 100mm, f 1.2 --ar 6:9 --testp

    Portrait Tip 7: Use phrases like "photorealism", "ultra detail", and 100mm

    100mm lens is a short focus lens that will make your portrait look blurry in the background.

    midjourney portrait prompt

    Prompt that was used to create this portrait:

    soul, soulful portrait, young female portrait, messy hair, blue diamond eyes, personal portrait, candid, intimate portrait, dramatic light, dreamlike light, photorealism, ultra detail, 100mm, f 1.2 --ar 6:9 --testp

    Portrait Tip 8: Cinestill 800T, cinematic lighting, full body, 4K

    From the prompt author: Beginning with close up portrait doesn’t guarantee realistic results but it seems to help. I find keeping background details minimal helps too.

    The AI probably tries to fit everything you describe into the picture. So if you type a lot about background it has to try to fit all of that in.

    photorealistic midjourney portrait prompt

    Prompt that was used to create this portrait:

    closeup portrait of an elegant pretty young woman wearing a wedding dress designed by atelier versace in front of magnolia trees, long wavy hair, ornate diamond necklace, photorealism, cinematic lighting, full body, hyper realistic, 4k, fashion photography, moody rimlight, ultra-detailed, intimate portrait composition, ray-traced reflections, Cinestill 800T --testp --ar 9:16 --upbeta

    Final Words

    To make best midjourney prompts, continue generating the images using the same prompt text. Midjourney will use a random seed every time.

    One prompt can produce best results one time, and bad quality images next time. This is why it's important to test the prompt several times before deciding whether it's good. Best Midjourney prompt is probably the one that generates high-quality, high-creativity images most of the time. However, that's rare even with some of the best prompts, unless you are also using a good reference image.

    Photorealistic portraits are not difficult to make with Midjourney, as long as you know tricks used by professional photographers. After all, it's the lens type, and aperture settings, that add blurry background to your portrait, isolating the subject.

    Melisa E.
    I like to write about AI, image processing and ChatGPT. But my work is not limited to these subjects. Oh, and I never use AI to generate my content.
    Follow Me
    On Ghost Together

    Oh, and another thing...I am an independent writer, so if you help share this article on Discord or WhatsApp or whatever app you're active on, I would be very grateful! Thank you 🙂

    It took hours to put this material together. Please help me out by sharing it 🙂

    Click button below to share link on WhatsApp or Discord or with friends:

     

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    Midjourney Portrait Tip #1: Think Like A Photographer

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