How to Use Reference Photos In Midjourney (Latest Updates)

Midjourney, a top name in image generation, provides artists and enthusiasts with various tools to create beautiful artworks.

Among these features, adding images to prompts and controlling the image weight stand out as key components to tailor your artistic experience.

In this post, I’ll guide you through using Midjourney reference photos. I will also demonstrate how to adjust and control the image weight.

Adding Images to Prompts

In Midjourney, you can effortlessly incorporate images into your prompts, whether as standalone inspirations or combined with text. This flexibility allows you to experiment with different styles, themes, and moods, translating your imagination into visual art.

How to Upload an Image to Midjourney: Step-by-Step

Midjourney Discord Uploading an image to use as reference gif

Step 1: Prepare the Image

  • Ensure your image has the correct file extension (.png, .gif, .webp, .jpg, or .jpeg).

Step 2: Send the Image to Midjourney Bot

  • Open a chat with Midjourney Bot on Discord.
  • Paste your image into the chat.
  • Press Enter to send the image.


  • When using Midjourney, upload images through Direct Messages with the Midjourney Bot to keep them private. 
  • Be aware that image prompts are usually visible on the site, so use Stealth Mode to keep them private.

Step 3: Obtain the Image Link

  • Follow the instructions based on your platform:
    • For Desktop Users: Right-click on the image and select “Copy Link.”
    • For Web App Users: Click to expand the image, then right-click and choose “Copy image address.”
    • For Mobile Users: Tap and hold on the image, then select “Copy Media Link.”

If None of the Above Methods Work

  • Click to expand the image.
  • Select “Open in Browser” at the bottom of the window.
  • Copy the URL from your browser and paste it where you need it.

How to Use Your Reference Photos in Midjourney

  1. Start with the Image URL: Using the steps described above, type or paste the image URL you obtained when you uploaded your image. Ensure the address ends with .png, .gif, .webp, .jpg, or .jpeg.
  2. Position Your Image Prompts: Place the image prompts at the front of the prompt for proper formatting.
  3. Create Your Prompt: Combine either two images or one image with text to craft your prompt.
  4. Retrieve the Image URL if Needed: In most browsers, you can right-click or long-press an image and select “Copy Image Address” to obtain the URL.
  5. Opt for the /blend Command on Mobile: This command offers a simplified image prompting process for mobile users.
  6. Finalize with Text and Parameters: Include any additional text and parameters as needed to complete the prompt.

What is The /Blend Command

The /blend command is a specialized feature in Midjourney that enables users to merge multiple images into a novel new image. This command considers the concepts and aesthetics of each image and seamlessly blends them. Here’s a detailed look at how it works:

Key Features of the /blend Command

  • Number of Images: You can combine 2 to 5 images using this command.
  • Similar to Multiple Image Prompts: It functions like using multiple image prompts with /imagine, but the interface is more mobile-friendly.
  • Exclusively for Images: Unlike /imagine, /blend does not work with text prompts.
  • Aspect Ratios: Blended images default to a 1:1 aspect ratio, but you can choose between square (1:1), portrait (2:3), or landscape (3:2).
  • Custom Suffixes: These can be added to the end of /blend prompts, and aspect ratios specified with /blend override those within a custom suffix.

How to Use the /blend Command

  1. Start with the Command: Type /blend, and you’ll be prompted to upload two photos.
  2. Upload Images: Drag and drop images from your hard drive or add them from your mobile device’s photo library.
  3. Add More Images: To blend more than two images, select the optional field and choose image3, image4, or image5.
  4. Choose the Aspect Ratio: Select the desired aspect ratio if you want something other than the default square format.
  5. Wait for Processing: Due to the need to upload images before processing, the start time for the command may be longer.
How to use Midjourney blend command

Pro Tip: Upload images with the same aspect ratio as your desired final result for optimal results.

Understanding Image Weight Parameter in Midjourney

The image weight parameter, denoted as –iw, is a valuable feature in Midjourney that allows you to control the influence of an image within a prompt. 

This feature comes in handy when blending both image and text inputs, enabling a more tailored and balanced result. 

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Adjusting Image Weight: By using the –iw parameter, you can define the importance of the image relative to the text in a prompt. A higher –iw value increases the image’s influence.
  • Default Value: Unless specified, the –iw parameter defaults to a value of 1.
  • Range of Values: Depending on the version of the Midjourney model you’re using, the image weight can range from 0 to 2. For example, Versions 5 and Niji have an image weight range of 0–2, while the image weight information for version 4 is unavailable.
  • Examples of Usage: In practical terms, you can add the –iw parameter to your prompt like this: /imagine prompt flowers.jpg birthday cake –iw 1. Here, the image weight is set at 1, meaning the image will relatively influence the finished job.

Birthday Cake Image Weight 1 vs 1.75:

Why Image Weight Matters

The image weight parameter offers a nuanced way to control the final appearance of a generated image, especially when mixing image and text prompts. 

By understanding and utilizing the –iw parameter, artists and designers can create artwork that precisely reflects their vision, balancing visual elements with textual context. It adds an extra layer of control, allowing for more sophisticated and personalized creations within Midjourney.

Exploring the /describe Command in Midjourney

The /describe command is an innovative feature in Midjourney that allows you to generate text prompts from an uploaded image.

Here’s a detailed breakdown:

  • Functionality: By using the /describe command, you can upload an image and receive four possible prompts that attempt to describe the visual content of that image.
  • Inspirational and Suggestive: Unlike other commands, /describe generates more inspirational and suggestive prompts rather than recreating the uploaded image exactly.
  • Returns Aspect Ratio: The command also provides the aspect ratio of the uploaded images.
  • Generates Similar Styles: The main idea is to generate a similar style from the description.

How to Use the /describe Command

  1. Type the Command: Start by typing /describe in the Midjourney interface.
  2. Upload an Image: Select and upload the image you want to work with.
  3. Receive Text Prompts: Click enter, and you will receive four text prompts attempting to describe the image.
  4. Generate Images: Underneath the prompts, you’ll see buttons labeled 1️⃣2️⃣3️⃣4️⃣. Click on the relevant button to generate an image for each prompt.
  5. Customize Descriptions: After selecting a button, a text box pops up, allowing you to change any descriptive word and generate an image with a similar style.
How to Use the describe Command

The /describe command offers a unique way to engage with AI art creation. For beginners and experienced artists alike, it opens up new avenues for exploration and creativity. 

Wrapping Up

As we’ve explored, Midjourney offers an impressive suite of features designed to cater to both novice and experienced AI art creators. From uploading and using image references to adjusting image weight, blending multiple images, and generating text prompts from visuals, Midjourney provides a comprehensive set of tools to enrich the creative process.

The commands like /blend, /describe, and the image weight parameter –iw have not only made the platform more accessible but also allowed for a more personalized and engaging experience. 

Whether you’re looking to delve into generative AI art, experiment with different styles, or simply enhance your artistic skills, Midjourney has something to offer.

Check out our Midjourney Fantasy Art Collection!

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