Stable Diffusion Prompts for Realistic Photos Examples

As an AI art enthusiast, I have spent countless hours experimenting with Stable Diffusion to generate realistic and striking photographic images. With the right prompts and techniques, the results can be extraordinary. In this article, I will share my expertise on crafting effective Stable Diffusion prompts to produce photorealistic images.

What Makes a Good Prompt?

When prompting Stable Diffusion, it is crucial to provide enough detail and context to guide the AI. At minimum, include the subject, style, medium (e.g. photography), and any other descriptive elements. Using the example of generating a photorealistic portrait, a basic prompt may be:

A photorealistic high resolution portrait of a young woman with green eyes and curly red hair smiling softly outdoors in natural light 

This gives Stable Diffusion the key details to generate an initial image. However, to achieve true photorealism, we need to go further.

Crafting Photorealistic Prompts

The key to photorealism is adding prompts that emulate the technical qualities of photography. This helps “trick” Stable Diffusion into rendering images as if captured through a camera lens.

Camera and Lens Details

Specify camera model, lens details, aperture, focal length, and other optics related prompts:

Sony A7R IV full frame mirrorless camera with 85mm f 1.4 GM lens, 1/125s shutter speed

These specifics anchor the image in the photographic realm.

Lighting and Exposure

Describe the lighting using terms like:

  • Soft natural light
  • Hard shadows
  • Highlights
  • Golden hour
  • Backlighting

Also indicate exposure levels, like overexposed highlights or crushed blacks.

Image Quality and Processing

Use prompts that suggest professional image processing:

  • Sharp focus
  • Tack sharp details
  • Vibrant colors
  • High dynamic range
  • Rich tonality
  • Film grain overlay

Composition and Framing Keywords

Guide the framing and composition with prompts like:

  • Shallow depth of field
  • Wide aspect ratio
  • Rule of thirds
  • Leading lines
  • Symmetrical framing

Example Photorealistic Portrait Prompts

Let’s look at some full examples of Stable Diffusion prompts engineered to produce photorealistic portraits:

Natural Light Portrait Photograph

An intimate environmental portrait photograph taken with a Canon 5D Mark IV and 85mm lens at f/1.2 aperture, 1/200s shutter speed. Warm natural window light illuminates a young female model with fair skin, wavy brown hair, and hazel eyes. Shallow depth of field, vibrant color tonality.

Dramatic Backlit Silhouette

A backlit silhouette portrait of a female model standing in front of a vibrant sunset sky. Canon EOS 5D SR camera with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. Dramatic rim lighting, sunstar lens flares, rich colors in the sky. Female model with long flowing hair blowing lightly in the wind.

Advanced Prompting Techniques

To take your Stable Diffusion images to the next level, incorporate these advanced prompting techniques:

Iterative Prompting

Start with a basic prompt, generate a result, identify areas needing improvement, add new prompts to enhance those areas, and regenerate. Repeat until satisfied!

Weighted Prompts

Repeat key prompt terms at the start and end of your prompt to indicate importance, like:

photorealistic, intimate photograph, photorealistic 

Stylistic References

Name a photographic artist to emulate style and quality, for example:

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz, intimate environmental portrait photograph of a female poet...

Follow their prompting formula but make it your own through experimentation. The possibilities are endless!


With the prompting guidelines and examples provided above, you now have a solid foundation for creating photorealistic images with Stable Diffusion. Remember that creating excellent prompts requires an iterative approach – start simple and enhance over time. I encourage you to use this article as a starting point and develop your own artistic voice through prompt engineering. Let your imagination run wild!

Related Resources

  • PromptHero – Searchable database of Stable Diffusion prompts
  • Lexica – Tool for analyzing prompt sets to inspire new ideas
  • Automatic1111 WebUI – Local Stable Diffusion application for easy prompting