Enhancing Realism in AI Art: Essential Tips for MidJourney

Apr 23, 2024 | In the Know-How

In the world of AI art, authenticity often stems from embracing the mundane and the ordinary. Whether you’ve found previous outputs too glossy or eerily perfect, this guide will provide you with innovative strategies to add a touch of realism that can transform your digital artwork into something truly special. Let’s delve into how you can guide MidJourney to replicate the authenticity of everyday visuals


Capture the Charm of the Everyday


Trick #1: Add These to Your Prompts

If you want MidJourney to make pics that look more like real-life photos, just add these terms to your prompts:

  • Selfie
  • Phone photo
  • Everyday photo
  • Low-quality photo
  • Average-looking person


Trick #2: Set This “Stylize” Value

Within the parameters for “Stylize,” it is recommended to maintain the value below 100 if you are looking for a true minimalist approach. While the default setting is 100, experimenting with lower numerical values between 0 and 99 can substantially reduce the appearance of artificial glossiness, thereby enhancing the image’s connection to reality. Consider experimenting with setting so find what best suits your preferences, and remember: sometimes, setting it to 0 works wonders for adding that touch of authenticity!

Do the following

Type –stylize or –s, followed by a value less than 100, at the end of your prompt.


Ultra-Low Settings: For individuals seeking to capture an even more authentic aesthetic, it is advisable to consider setting the “Stylize” value below 50, or potentially even to zero. This adjustment can be particularly effective in eliminating any lingering artificial elements.


Going for the ‘Unstyled’ Style


Opting for a raw and unfiltered aesthetic can help in achieving a look that’s closer to what you might capture with a camera, rather than through a digital filter:

  • Pure and Simple: Selecting the “Style Raw” option allows MidJourney to produce images that adhere strictly to your instructions without adding unnecessary stylistic flares, thus maintaining the core authenticity of the subject.
  • Refined Rawness: Pairing “Style Raw” with a reduced “Stylize” value merges the best of both worlds, minimizing digital interference while keeping the images vivid and impactful.
  • Photo posted on Facebook / Reddit


Trick #3: Apply “Style Raw”

The utilization of “Style Raw” often yields optimal results when accompanied by a diminished “Stylize” value (explicated in Trick #2): this combination  generally mitigates the default aesthetic of MidJourney and enhances authenticity,

Do the following:

Type –style raw, then type –stylize or –s, followed by a value less than 100, at the end of your prompt.

Alternatively, type /settings and select “Style Raw” to choose a style with less MidJourney beautification.


This combination may sporadically engender peculiar details, such as distorted faces or incorrect finger numerations. In such instances, the reiteration of the rendering process several times may be necessary to obtain the desired outcome, or the utilization of the inpainting feature “Vary (Region)” to rectify the artifacts.


Embrace the Unexpected


Introducing a slight “weird” value can bring about creative anomalies that make your artwork intriguing and memorable. This feature allows for the introduction of subtle quirks that mirror the imperfections found in reality.


Trick #4: Throw in a Sprinkle of the “Weird” Parameter

The “weird” parameter, a relatively obscure yet consequential feature in MidJourney, exerts a profound impact on the resultant images by introducing atypical and idiosyncratic elements, leading to the generation of distinctive and unanticipated outcomes. If you don’t specify a “weird” value for MidJourney, it defaults to 0 (no “weird” effect), but based on my experimentation, the inclusion of a modicum of “weirdness” resulted in the subtle alteration of photorealistic images, rendering them slightly “imperfect” in a manner reminiscent of the inherent imperfections observed in quotidian photographs. According to MidJourney documentation, the optimal “weird” value varies with each prompt and requires experimentation. It’s best to start with small values and adjust upward as needed.

Do the following:

Type –weird or –w, followed by a value from 0 to 3000, at the end of your prompt.


To enhance image authenticity, I recommend using a very low “weird” value. In my experiments, values above 5 began to feel overly “weird”


Real References for Remarkable Results


Employ a real-life photograph as a benchmark for style, composition, and mood, ensuring that your AI art mirrors the authenticity and aesthetic nuances of the reference image. Detailed Style Replication: The “Style Reference” (SREF) feature enables the AI to adopt the overall style and ambiance of a chosen photograph, translating its essence into your new creation.


Trick #5: Make Good Use of “Image Prompting” and the “Style Reference” (SREF) Feature

When attempting to replicate the authenticity and “truthfulness” of a real photograph, either one’s or one sourced from the internet, using that image as a reference for both “Image Prompting” and the “Style Reference” feature is the optimal approach: “Image Prompting” allows you to transfer the stylistic elements from a reference image — such as the overall composition, color theme, and even objects — into your new creation. Meanwhile, “Style Reference” facilitates the transfer of the overall style, color theme, vibe, and aesthetics from a reference image into your new creation.

Do the following::

For “Image Prompting”, simply place the reference image URL in the prompt box and add any additional text and parameters to complete the prompt.

For “Style Reference”, type your prompt, followed by –sref; add a space after –sref, then paste the URL of your reference image.


Specify a comparatively higher overall style weight for “Style Reference” (approximately within the range of 500–1000) by utilizing the “–sw” command followed by the desired numerical value. Personally, I favor a value of 800.


Unleash your immagination (within this rules!)


By meticulously incorporating these detailed recommendations into your MidJourney projects, you will not only augment the realism inherent in your AI-generated art but also captivate viewers with the profound depth and authenticity of your artistic expressions. Continue experimenting with these methodologies and relish the transformative voyage through the ever-evolving realm of AI-empowered creativity.


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