The BEST Playing Card Decks of 2022!!
So what happened to the playing card? Community Instagram used to be riddled with playing card photos and videos, and then Along Came ads and algorithms and essentially ruined the whole thing, but the playing card community on Instagram used to be big. In fact, it’s where I got started posting things online. I did a 365 Day project on Instagram, taking a photo of a deck of playing cards every single day for an entire year. It made me better as a photographer.
It really expanded my creativity as well, and my love for photography and playing cards at the same time and it built a community and that Community aspect is, I think, the thing we are missing today. So today, I’m going to share with you my top five favorite playing card decks of 2022 and we’re going to be setting up photos for each single one of them. So I’ll. Take you behind the scenes in the photo process. As I show you the Decks that I love, then we’re going to take some Banger shots and post them to Vero if you’re not familiar with Vero.
It’S an amazing platform that does not have an algorithm. Essentially, whoever you follow is the feed you are going to get in chronological order. It allows you also to post Vertical and Landscape photos. At the same time, videos link books, movies, all sorts of cool things that you can do and you can follow it all by using a hashtag. So I’d encourage all of you to go sign up to Vero.
This is not a sponsored post. Honestly, it’s just a really really cool platform for photography and I want to start a community again and I want you guys to be a part of it. So go sign up, take some dope shots of your playing cards and post them with the hashtag deck of the day. It’ll be a great place where we can actually push our creativity together and encourage each other’s work on a community-built platform. All right, let’s get started with deck number five number five in my top five of 2022, is one that we found in the art of playing mystery boxes.
It is the ramen Ramen heads the ramen heads playing cards. They got really cool faces, uh, really, cool box design back design is also cool, a lot of original art. I love the colors of the retro, cyberpunk anime feel about it and it inspires me to want to take a really cool photo for this photo. We decided to go with a setup kind of like this. We’ve got, we’ve got the cards we’ve printed out, this random menu we found online.
We had a few to go from, which is by the way, a great, great thing you can do. These are free props online. If you just print things out like menus and flat items, you can just lay them there and it makes it look really good on the photo, even though in real life the quality is not great. Here we got a tile set up. I got all these tiles that we use surfaces for – and I want this to look kind of like a messy cyberpunk Ramen Shop.
I got like the card here. The Jokers, we just kind of messily put the cards around. We’ve got this neon back here, which provides a nice little red glow. We’ve got this small little aperture light here, and that’s really it with this bowl of ramen that we just made and we’re going to use the fog machine as well. Now this thing, what is this called again the smoke Genie?
This is about 800, it’s quite expensive, but if you’re doing prop photography or videography for any type of product, it’s really cool because it doesn’t uh. It gives you a small stream of smoke. It can do dry ice, it can do mist or Haze, but it doesn’t get out of hand. It doesn’t fog up the whole place, it’s very concentrated and nice little concentrated cylinder of smoke that we’ll be able to use so, for example, we’ll be able to Bellow some smoke along the surface here and kind of make it look like our ramen’s really hot, something Like that, out of that, we can get a really really cool picture now. The final thing we might need is placement for the deck.
I was thinking. We can do something like this, where we have the deck sort of in front, but that requires some more lighting. This way, and since we’re here, I think a top down might be best, so I kind of want to throw the noodles kind of over like this. We can use this as a platform, maybe grab a card like that. How does that look from the top?
You think that would look good. Let’S take a photo of this before the card starts. Getting too warped. Oh look at that card warping. I need a swap out of that card.
I just want to get some angles here. Cooler angles two-handed here: okay, I think we got something there. What a mess and destroyed, essentially a deck of cards in the process, but again we’re having fun over here, filling up the frame a little bit more. Can we lift this light just a little bit Lee? I think that’s a banger shot.
Okay, we got something there all right. Let’S clean up this mess. Number four! I guess an unorthodox pick, not your likely pick. This is a deck that Playboy released, check this out, really classy.
Looking at the tuck case, I actually like the back of the tuck case. Here. It’S got those colors there. I like the way that looks, and it’s got some Japanese writing here, which I thought was cool and the cards themselves have this marble back and this gold foiling this really nice gold foiling now the cards don’t handle like uspcc cards because they aren’t, I think, they’re, Make playing cards but regardless this design was just too good for me to pass up. I thought it was super classy looking and the face cards as well are hyper original they’ve got these.
This sort of anime feels like it. You see all these different sorts of Japanese pinup anime models. I mean look at that Court cards are all the same. I love the Simplicity and the cards do repeat themselves and then you have the uh the joke, but I love that Punchy. Retro sort of eclectic pop art that they’ve introduced to it because it’s such a clash.
If you look at the face cards with these cartoony, pink and vibrant colors, these retro cartoons. But then you look at the back design and we’re talking like hyper upscale, gold and marble. So I love that contrast to the two and I’m gonna try to find a way to Showcase that in a photo. So for now we have this setup, which I don’t hate. It is missing something, but for now we’ve got a bunch of gold and gray much like what you would find in here, some green, because we want that color to sort of pop and stand out.
I think we’re gonna go with a top-down photo. Once again, we haven’t really decided yet we’re using the 7200 again for these photos, so that looks kind of good. If you were to leave the deck right there and take a photo of it, it doesn’t look too bad, but I do think it’s missing a punch to add a little bit of that retro feel. I have this vintage Playboy, which I thought was super dope. The glass is on there and everything looks amazing on this Playboy from August 1982, and I thought adding that might add, just a touch of that little bit of retro Style. I want this kind of high-end coffee table to sort of set up what this picture looks like here.
It all looks a bit jumbled. It makes sense on camera, especially when you’re using a 7200. You want everything to sort of feel cramped, pretty sick. One thing too, when placing products that I found, it’s not always good to try and do straight lines. So, if you notice here like this is on an angle, that’s on an angle, that’s on an angle.
Nothing is sort of lined up straight, even this kind of bugs me like, but we’re only seeing the end of that, so I’m so bad, but everything’s sort of angled. Nothing is straight because, as soon as you go straight, you start to see flaws. So, unless you’re, like Wes Anderson, staying away from taking, you know, straight photos are much easier to get an angled shot of something than it is to get a straight shot all right. Next deck number three in our top five of 2022 goes to this deck here. Uh, these are the 2049 playing cards by Adrian Valenzuela, who also did the Memento Morris by the way, great artist.
He does a lot of cool digital art, including nfts, and all these cool things I met him at cardcon. He gave me a deck and I really really loved it. He had them in white and black. I prefer the white one, but there’s so many cool things about this deck. The back design is a really supercharged kind of got that futuristic sort of AI vibe to it, but the tuck case I found to be extra interesting because for one there’s, this giant seal that goes all the way around the deck all the way down here and All all the way back down here which I’ve never seen before.
Secondly, take a look at the back here, there’s like sort of a cream blind, embossing going on and then there’s this orange foil. That goes around the front, and then this here, which I really loved as well. It looks great, my favorite thing about the cards. Now there are a few things like the the sort of glitchiness on the Pips which I really like, but the court cards I think, are my favorite check those out really nice core cards for the setup for these uh we’ve decided to use the escape room because It’S got a cool reflective surface which gives that really clean and Polished. Look, we’re looking for this deck.
I think a black surface would have been too jarring and too contrasting to go with this white deck. So I think a white surface is nice, but then adding a punch of color, and since we already have that orange we’ve got this flower here that we can play with fake flowers. I’ve got this as well, which is a puzzle I never put out with lab cerium, but it’s a bit of a maze. That’S a cool background prop that got this mask, which we ordered on Etsy as well. It’S got a light.
Little ring light here and I’ve got this knife. This is a fake 3D printed knife. This is plastic, but it looks real and it has as well that cyberpunk, futuristic ninja feel right and that’s kind of what we’re gonna try and mimic using all of the elements we have here now we might need just a little bit of extra key lighting. Maybe some aperture lights, or something like that just to bring it all together, bring out the mood that we’re looking for. I use this helmet instead, which was another helmet.
We found on Etsy Etsy’s got a whole lot of creative stuff and got this little plant here. To add a little bit of extra color, I’ve taken a second to sort of set everything up, seemingly symmetrical, but a little chaotic, and it’s got elements a little bit everywhere that are raised and lowered. One thing I like with taking especially top down photos is: you have to remember, like depth of field right. It’S very important. You have to cover a few, a few elements in one.
What I mean by that is that the bottom surface is very important. Then we have a raised surface, we have some cards, those are going to be sort of out of focus because the focal point is going to be this deck here, which makes everything above this deck out of focus and this incredibly out of focus you’re. Getting all these different layers of depth of field which are going to add a lot of a lot of character on take it at an angle, because I don’t trust my lines are straight here, so I’d rather have something angled like that. Yes, that’s what I’m talking about looking good, oh yeah, why is the way to go we’re getting a whole different vibe now, an entirely different vibe feels like everything’s coming at the camera, almost like a uh b-roll, something for these people. Here it almost feels like you’re taking a drone shot of the city.
All the buildings with the wide angles are sort of all right for my number two deck, this extravagant Renaissance painting in the background and the blue color as well. Everything just looks so crisp. He made two of these designs, sort of inverted. You can see it here on the Gaff card. I like the way this deck looks.
I feel like it has a mix of that simplified design, yet hyper, extravagant luxurious sort of opulent design, and opulence is what I’m going for here. So if you’ve noticed uh, this is my gold chain and my gold ring from my buddy Omar from Vermont blue luxury. Also, some fake hundred dollar bills – we’ve got a red fire hydrant here, just to create that extra pop that sort of pop art Vibrance. We also use this light that used to be my old office, this sort of blue light, because it’s exactly the color of the deck, also, this picture frame that I have, which is like this old picture frame and again I want this to feel like opulent pop Art luxury, like someone who’s, got too much money and doesn’t know what to do with it, and this is kind of what that picture is going to reflect money. This is probably my favorite one.
This is probably my favorite. These are probably my favorite photos of them all so far, because I think we really captured the spirit of what this deck represents. To me, the deck of 2022 goes to orbit. Brown orbit collaborated with Mac Lethal on what I think was the nicest deck of the year. It was just genius artwork on behalf of orbit. His team mackley told his collab was chef’s kiss the back design is dope.
It’S got that Japanese font. It’S got this sort of two-tone plus the yellow, which pops. They also use the yellow on the Seal of the tuck case, which I love, everything from the ace to the to the Jokers everything looks super super sick and is a very highly photogenic deck. It is a one-way design because of the Japanese writing, but you don’t really get that impression because it’s in the middle of the deck, which I think is a nice touch – we’ve set up this setup right now for this photo. So I’ve got these retro TVs, cameras, sound systems. We got this light back here which is sort of throwing a bunch of light on this grid, which gives it some depth down there and these old cameras sort of give it those angles.
This nice like shine, and then we got the reflection in the TV which we’ll be able to pick up the reflection of the deck, hopefully as well as some depth of field and a small little aperture light on top. I think throw some Haze in there and I think we’re gonna have a banger photo.