How to Create Stunning Backgrounds for Your Portrait Photography Using Midjourney AI

Midjourney AI is a fantastic platform for creating original images, just about anything you could imagine, from scratch. With all this creative power at your fingertips, it’s easy to overlook a very useful function for photographers: the ability to create custom backgrounds for portraits.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to create custom backgrounds and even 3D spaces to take your portrait photography to the next level.

Getting Started With Midjourney

You can access Midjourney from Discord’s official website. From there, you’ll be prompted to join Discord, which is a free online chat and voice platform that Midjourney runs on.

You can either sign up for free or choose from their individual membership plans that start from $10 per month.

The Best Midjourney Membership Plan for Photographers

If you’re a serious creative that plans on using Midjourney to create a lot of content, we highly recommend the Standard Membership Plan for $30 per month. This plan will allow you to make use of Relaxed mode, which will entitle you to unlimited content creation.

The Standard Membership Plan is essential if you wish to spend some quality time experimenting and creating the perfect background for your portrait photography.

Although the Basic Membership at $10 per month allows for 200 jobs per month, you’ll find that you’ll quickly use these up in just a few sessions. If you’re on a budget, try this plan first and upgrade later if you need to. It still beats the free trial, which only allows 25 jobs.

If you’d rather pay for credits instead of a subscription, you can use another AI image generator like Dall-E 2 to create backgrounds for your portrait shots.

Why Portrait Photographers Should Use Digital Backgrounds

If you take a lot of portraits, you may have considered using digital backgrounds in the form of textures and scenic locations for your subjects. Midjourney is the perfect tool to create these backgrounds. Here are a few advantages of using Midjourney for this purpose:

  • It’s cheaper than buying real backgrounds from a photography supplier.
  • You don’t have to waste time meeting your subject at a specific location for the shoot.
  • You can create just about anything you can dream of. You usually can’t buy this option at a store or visit such places on a low budget.
  • Create as many unique backgrounds as you need. There’s literally no limit.

If you factor in these considerations, the Standard Membership Plan at $30 per month is definitely the most financially-sound option.

Things to Know Before You Get Started

The one requirement for using Midjourney to create backgrounds for your portraits is that you need to know how to create composites in an advanced photo editor like Photoshop.

Without the ability to create complex selections, resize objects, color grade, and a host of other skills that may be required to blend a portrait and a background together, you won’t be able to use Midjourney for the purposes of our tutorial.

You can use Luminar Neo to create your photo composites.

There is a downside to using Midjourney; you’ll never quite create exactly what you have in mind most of the time. That’s because the technology for using text prompts to create images from scratch is still in its infancy. And although Midjourney is making quick strides in improving its platform with regular updates, you may struggle to create something close to your original idea.

Even so, many of Midjourney creations may be quite acceptable, if not amazing, and can take you in directions that you never expected. Just play around and have fun with it, and you’ll soon discover Midjourney’s limitations and strengths.

What Midjourney Settings to Use

The correct settings can make the difference between getting the images you want quickly and wasting a lot of time with nothing to show for it.

For this tutorial, we’re using the below settings. These will guarantee more samples to choose from (four versus two) and allow for a bit of variation between versions without going overboard.

If you’d like to follow along, adjust the following:

To access the settings in Midjourney, type /settings and press Enter. Then simply click on the options to change them.

Note that if you’re on the Free Trial or Standard Membership, you won’t be able to select Relax mode. Fast mode will be the only option without upgrading your membership.

What Midjourney Prompts to Use for Portrait Backgrounds

Now, let’s create stunning backgrounds for your portraits!

A good strategy is to start with short and simple text prompts and then build upon them to add complexity. Let’s do just that for our first example. We’ll use “dark background” as our first prompt to see what Midjourney comes up with.

If you haven’t used this AI before, see our in-depth guide on how to use Midjourney to create art. To create images, you simply type /imagine and then enter your prompt.

Midjourney did an okay job creating a “dark background”. But let’s be more specific and say that we want a “flat black texture background”. Additionally, we’ll click on Reroll to get two more sets of options.

We’re getting closer. We instructed Midjourney to make the background textured and flat, so this removed the 3D results that we saw on the first try. But for better results, let’s get even more precise…

We’ve succeeded in creating a flat texture. Any option could work as a background for a portrait if we crop it and then create a composite. But we didn’t succeed in creating a black option. This is where experimenting with word order and the Stylize, Quality, and Weight parameters could prove useful.

This video by Design Computation Human explains all these options in greater detail:

Below are a few results we’re quite pleased with. We replaced “background” with “backdrop” and expanded on the description. Any of these examples could easily be placed behind your subject as a wonderful background.

Here’s an upscaled version of the fourth option:

Let’s clean this up in Photoshop to see what it would look like.

From here, you can upscale more, change the ratio, change the color, and even blend in other textures to create customized backgrounds that no one else has.

You can use Luminar Neo to remove backgrounds from your original portraits to make your compositing with Midjourney easier.

How to Create 3D Spaces for Portrait Backgrounds With Midjourney

You can create some amazing 3D spaces with Midjourney that could complement your portrait photography. Be prepared to spend a little more time if you’re looking to create super-realistic composites, but it can be done.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Break up your text prompts with commas. For example, “interior artist studio, 3D space”.
  • Use “3D” or “3D space” in your prompts to ensure that Midjourney creates a three-dimensional space.
  • Make use of the aspect ratio code to create more realistic spaces. For example, –ar 16:9 or –ar 9:16.
  • Interiors are usually a lot more realistic-looking than exterior spaces.
  • Trying to recreate actual places in 3D isn’t really possible in great detail yet.
  • Be prepared to experiment a lot to achieve your vision.

Below is an example using the prompt “photography studio backdrop, 3D, modern, –ar 16:9”. Note that the –v3 is added by Midjourney automatically since we changed our settings accordingly.

We used the prompt “large empty warehouse, sunlight filtering in, –ar 16:9” for these results:

You’re not stuck with buildings. You can also create natural 3D spaces for your portraits. We used the prompt “large ice cave complex, 3D space, sunlight filtering in, –ar 16:9” for this upscaled version:

As mentioned, creating outdoor scenes that look realistic and recognizable is troublesome at this point. Consider using such scenes to create fantasy backdrops for your portrait photography instead.

You could change your settings to one of the test modes, but even these are a little underwhelming compared to their real-life counterparts.

The above example of an exterior parking lot looks more like an illustration than a photo. Just about anything outdoors will be almost impossible to make look believable. But you can use this to your advantage for other types creative projects.

No more boring backgrounds for your photos—you can take a picture of your friends and family just about anywhere and composite them with amazing scenes created in Midjourney. Let your imagination be your guide!

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *