✍🏼 How to Write Prompts for Midjourney

The mastery of creating art with Midjourney is not in your ability to write well. It is in your ability to craft prompts that will deliver the desired outcome.

How to Write Prompts for Midjourney Featured Image

So you want to create AI Art using Midjourney but are unsure where to start. Then let me show you how to write prompts in Midjourney.

What is a Prompt in Midjourney?

A prompt is a specific instruction, question, or statement designed to inspire a response or stimulate thought and creativity. It serves as a starting point for Midjourney to turn text into an image.

What Types of Prompts are in Midjourney?

There are two types of prompts in Midjourney; an image prompt and a text prompt.

A text prompt is a short description of what you want Midjourney to interpret. This can be as vague or as detailed as you wish - you can even tell Midjourney the aperture and lens type of the camera you want.

An image prompt is used as a starting point for Midjourney to influence the style and tone of the final result. For an image prompt to work it has to be in the form of a URL.

If you want to focus on creating and organising your own AI art without the distraction of other people's creations then I suggest that you create a private server and add the Midjourney bot.

When you write a prompt in Midjourney there is a specific order that the prompts need to be in for Midjourney to clearly comprehend what we want. Image prompts are first, then text prompts, and then parameters.

the order of image, text, and parameter in a Midjourney prompt

How to Write Text Prompts in Midjourney

To give the Midjourney Bot a text prompt type "/imagine" in the text box. This basically tells Midjourney that you want to create an image using its AI.

prompt type /imagine in Midjourney

Press "Return" and you will then be given a little 'prompt' box. This is when the ability to write clear and effective text prompts really matters.

What the prompt box looks like in Midjourney

You can of course be incredibly vague with your prompt. For example, the prompt "red" produced this collection of images:

I actually think these are stunning images that would all make for great album artwork!

Or you can start to get very specific and start to list a subject, a camera, an aperture, a film ISO and a director.

For example, the prompt: A portrait of a man in his late 70s, shot by Rankin, extreme close-up, Leica M Series, ISO 1000 --ar 16:9 produced this selection:

I love both the images on the left-hand side
I got a different shape to the image by changing the aspect ratio parameter.

There are a few things to remember when writing a text prompt for Midjourney that will really help get the results you want.

  1. Choose a subject
  2. Decide how detailed you want the image to be for this you can use the stylize parameter
  3. Choose an art style/photographic style
  4. Choose your aspect ratio
  5. Keep it clear and simple
  6. Choose between "creative" or "realistic" for this, you can use the weird parameter
  7. Use descriptive words for mood and style
  8. Choose references i.e. directors, artists, photographers, actors etc.
  9. Give Midjourney an image as a reference
  10. You can also adjust the settings to get more control of the end result
You can always create variations using the Remix mode if the images are still not quite right and even use the stop parameter for a creative twist.

How to do Image Prompts in Midjourney

To use an image as a prompt it has to have a URL that ends in .png, .gif, .webp, .jpg, or .jpeg.

If the image you want to use does not have a URL (because it's on your phone or computer) then you can send it to the Midjourney bot to generate a link.

The best way to do this is to send the Midjourney bot a direct message so that no one else will see the image you are using.

In your direct message to the Midjourney bot, click on the "+" symbol.

How to add an image in a message to the Midjourney bot

This will then reveal a pop-up box. Click on "Upload a File" and press "Return". For this example, I am going to upload my close-up of a 70-year-old man.

How to upload a file in a message to the Midjourney Bot

The image will then show up in the message chat. Like so:

What an image looks like when it is sent to the Midjourney bot in a direct message

At this point, you still need the URL and there are 2 ways to get it.

You can start an "/Imagine" prompt with Midjourney. You then drag the image from the message chat into the prompt box. This will show your image URL.

What a image and text prompt can look like in Midjourney

You can also click on the image in the message chat and click on "Open in Browser"

How to get the URL of an image in Midjourney

This will then open the image in a new tab and you can copy and paste the URL into your next prompt.

Using Image and Text Prompts

Bearing in mind what I said at the start of the article, image prompts then text prompts and then parameters, let's combine an image prompt with a text prompt.

Here you can see the (very long) Image URL followed by the text prompt "Cyanotype" and the aspect ratio parameter of 16:9

The text prompt of "cyanotype" meant that the distinctive blue colour of this photographic technique and the fact that it was often used on flowers has resulted in an unusual response that I really like:

How to Save High-Quality Images from Midjourney

Practice Makes Perfect

As Midjourney keeps growing and developing the importance of regular prompting will allow you to have a greater understanding of the effects of tiny changes in the prompts (and Midjourney's settings).

You can always go back through your Midjourney images and find the ones you love at a later date.