Best Stable Diffusion prompts for generating portraits

Generating realistic and detailed portraits with AI image generation models like Stable Diffusion requires carefully crafted prompts. The prompt acts as the instructions for the AI, guiding it to create the desired image. In this article, I’ll provide some of my favorite portrait prompts for Stable Diffusion along with tips for writing effective prompts.

Realistic Portrait Prompts

Here are a few portrait prompts that I’ve found work very well for generating realistic and detailed faces:

Photorealistic Female Portrait

A photorealistic portrait of a beautiful young woman with long wavy brown hair, bright green eyes, rosy cheeks, and a radiant smile, soft studio lighting, 35mm depth of field

This prompt specifies key facial features like hair, eyes, skin tones, and expression. The lighting and camera details help produce a crisp, professional portrait style.

Masculine Black & White Portrait

Black and white medium close-up portrait of a handsome middle aged man with short hair, rugged features, beard stubble, looking pensively towards the top right corner, dramatic side lighting

The black and white style, specific posing, and strong side lighting gives this prompt a masculine, dramatic mood.

Child Portrait with Soft Background

Portrait photo of an adorable young girl with blonde curly hair, gap toothed smile, soft pink dress, sitting in a field of daisies, soft natural lighting, dreamy bokeh background 

This prompt uses soft, bright elements like curly hair, a pink dress and daisies to convey innocence. The lighting and background create a dreamy, romantic feel.

Tips for Writing Effective Portrait Prompts

Here are some key tips I’ve learned for writing prompts that produce detailed, high-quality portraits with Stable Diffusion:

Specify Facial Features

Detail things like hair color/style, eye color, skin tone, facial hair, expression and posing. The more facial specifics you include, the better the AI will render the face.

Set the Mood with Lighting

Lighting elements like “soft studio lighting” or “dramatic side lighting” help set the overall mood. This gives the AI creative direction.

Use Camera Lingo

Add camera details like “35mm depth of field” or “85mm lens.” This helps emulate a crisp photographic style.

Direct the Viewer’s Focus

Use terms like “close-up”, “medium shot”, or “upper body framing” to compose the portrait. This controls things like how much background is visible.

Suggest Attire and Styling

For contemporary portraits, describe the clothing, hair, and makeup style to match your vision. Give suggestions like “winged eyeliner” or “off-the-shoulder dress.”

Advanced Portrait Prompting Techniques

Once you get the hang of basic prompting, you can start experimenting with more advanced techniques like style transfers and image embeddings.

Style Transfer

You can blend different art styles by adding the style name after your prompt. For example:

An oil painting portrait of a young girl in Rococo period clothing, by Francisco Goya

This prompt generates a Rococo-styled portrait with Goya’s signature brushwork.

Image Embeddings

An image embedding allows you to make the AI generate a portrait with features from a specific photo.

To use one, upload your image to a site like to get the embedding code. Then add it to your prompt like:

A portrait of a teenage girl [[lexcia:0.7385]], smiling, with freckles and curly red hair blowing in the wind

This keeps the embedded facial features while allowing you to adjust other details like pose and hair.


Crafting the perfect prompt is key to generating stunning portraits with AI. Focus on specifics like facial features, lighting, and camera details to produce professional, photorealistic results. And don’t be afraid to push the boundaries with advanced techniques like style transfers and embeddings.

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