How To Upload & Use A Reference Image In Mid-journey As Prompt

Learn how to use a reference image or URL in the midjourney prompt to create custom or stunning art. Using a link to generate art is easy, but if you want to generate the art in a specific style or design then it is tricky. Midjourney bot is a machine, and you will need to guide it properly to complete your job. Read this article I am going to discover how you can generate your dream art with a reference link or image in a short time.

Midjourney Reference Image | How To Use To Get The Best Results

2023 welcomed us with great AI assistance to people from every walk of life. Midjourney in one popular AI Art generator tool. It can generate custom stunning unique art by just giving the bot a text command and see your art is ready. It is not enough. The tool offers several features to create art according to your requirements. The reference image is basically a prompt engineering work. It is all about giving the bot a proper guide through a text prompt with a reference link. The bot is an AI machine that will generate the art based on your prompts. I know You don’t only want to learn how to mix an image link in your prompt, But you want to make your dream art using a link in the /imagine prompt. For this, you need to know what is the actual use of a reference image in MJ.

midjourney upload image

What is an Image Reference?

Midjourney can create AI art from a text prompt. Then why should we use the image as a reference? A reference image is a visual guide that we provide the bot to create AI art as we want. For example, You want art in a specific style, color, composition, or element. For this purpose, you should provide a reference link that will further guide the bot to generate the art according to the user’s requirements.

How to Use Image as A Reference in Midjourney

To use an image reference in midjourney prompts, you will need to take a few steps. Following are some useful steps.

1. Upload An Image: Open your Midjourney account using Discord. In the prompt section, you can see an + icon; click on it. Upload the image that you want to include in your prompt, and press enter. MJ bot will upload the image.
2. Use the Image as Reference: Using your uploaded image is simple; just drag the image in the prompt section.
3. Modify Your Prompt: When you dragged your image, what did you see? It is actually a link of the image. You can also use a link from copying anywhere rather than uploading an image. But you can’t use a link as a prompt. You will need to add some text and the aspect ratio of the image and then select the MJ version like V1, V2, V3, V4, V5, and the latest on V5.1.

Effective Techniques for Modifying Reference Image Midjourney Prompt To Generate A Specific Art

As I described earlier, You can’t use only a reference link. You would have to modify it further to create your final AI Clipart. For example, imagine you want to create art of a set of birthday balloons. And you want to make it in a specific style, and the sets should contain four balloons. Now you also want that they must be in a particular design or color. It is easy if you are an AI artist, and it is tricky if you are a beginner! But Don’t worry; you are in the right place. I am providing you step by step guide. For this, read and understand the following tips.

1. Write a prompt: You have an idea in your mind for a specific art; just write it down. Still confused about writing a prompt? See how I describe my idea in a mid journey prompt.

My friend’s name is Elsa, her favorite color is Red and her birthday is coming the next week. I want to gift her a clipart of a red balloon set that contains glitter confetti overlays. I Don’t want to pay an AI prompt engineer, but I want to write my MJ prompt himself.

2. Think About Your Ideas: Imagine, what type of art you want to creat. Inlude your all ideas in your prompt for getting perfect result of your final art.

  • Art Theme
  • Color of the Art
  • Design Of the Art
  • Style of the art
  • Background of the Art
  • Size of the clipart

3. Example prompt:

/imagine Prompt: Design a set of Red and Gold Balloons, overlaid with glitter confetti for a birthday party, by artist Elsa –ar 3:2 –v 5 –q 2

4. Understand the basics of a Midjourney prompts

  • /imagine prompt – is Midjourney command
  • –ar – is the aspect ratio of the final art
  • –V5 – is Midjourney version
  • –q2 – is Mj fast mode

Oh no! I have run this prompt in mid-journey, but it does not meet my final idea. For this, I would have to modify my imagine prompt to get the final one. What to do next, I should edit the existing prompt and use an image or URL as a reference.

5. Include Refrence image In The Prompt:

Now I am going to try reference image prompting in midjourney. For this, first of all, find an image, then simply upload it in MJ using the + button. Then drag the photo to add it to your prompt.

6. Midjourney Refrence Image Prompt Example

/imagine Prompt: Create a set of Red and Gold Balloons overlaid with glitter confetti in the style of [drag the uploaded image here] for birthdays, by artist Elsa –ar 3:2 –v 5 –q 2

Graet This one is according to requirements. See the image how it transformed my ideas to AI art.

midjourney image prompt

Three Point To Keep In While Midjourny Image Prompting with Url

Keep Your Prompt Simple: A bot is a machine. It generates the art based on your given prompt, So keep your prompt simple and short to help the bot understand your ideas easily.

1. Use Multiple References Urls: If the bot does not generate the image with a single reference image, you can add multiple references in a single prompt. For example, you want to create an image having a specific design and color. Use a reference for style and a second one for design.

Example /imagine prompt: Create a cartoonish image of colorful balloons set [Add reference image 1] in the style of [Add reference image 2], floating against a plain white background –ar 16:9 –v 5.1

2. Understand Limitations: Almost every AI tool has some limitations. Keep in mind you are interacting with a bot. The Midjourney bot may not replicate your given detail, color, style, and design perfectly. So, don’t worry, try something other or use an alternative tool.

3. Terms And Conditions: Midjourney Ai has banned several words. Never use a banned word in your prompt; also, don’t try to add bold type images.

FAQs On Reference Image Midjourney

Q: Can I use multiple image references in a single prompt?

A: Yes, it is a good practice. It can help the bot to understand quickly the style and design for your final art.

Q: Can I use copyright image as a reference in midjourney?

A: You should avoid using copyrighted images without permission of the owner. Midjourney has clearly described it in its terms in conditions.

Q: Midjourney reference image is not working?

A: There are three things to understand if your reference image is not working.

1. Check your image format. If it is not png, just convert the image to png image by using a png converter tool.

2. The latest MJ versions, V5 and V5.1, Don’t allow you to use the exact reference image URL as a prompt. You need to add some text to the prompt.

3. Recheck your prompt; it should not contain any banned words.

Q: Can I use my own photos as references?

A: Absolutely, yes! You can upload and use your own picture for making custom art. Using your own photos as references is a good idea to create your personal AI art.

Q: What are some examples of midjourney reference image prompts?

A. The example of midjourney reference image prompt looks like,

  • Create a cartoon dog, in the style of [reference image 1] surrounding background [reference image 2] –ar 3:2 –niji –v5.1
  • A big elephant in the style of [reference image 1] standing near a river [reference image 2] –ar 3:2 –v5.1

A logo of a dog house in the design [reference image 1] background white, color [reference image 2] –ar 3:2 –v5.


The midjourney reference image feature has made it easy for beginners to create their dream AI art easily. It is a best practice to transform your specific ideas into art. Whether you want to create AI art in a specific color palette, style, or subject matter. In all cases, use an image as a reference in midjourney to get your final art quickly, without investing money to hire an AI artist or prompt engineer. You can do it easily by following the g uidelines of this article. So, go ahead and transform your ideas to life. If you like this guide, don’t forget to share.

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