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December 30, 2023 2 min read

In the wonderful world of playing cards, where each deck tells a unique story, Richard Arturo stands as a visionary storyteller. A Graphic Designer and photographer based in Singapore, Richard has been enchanting the playing card community with his exceptional playing card photography for the past five years. I first worked with Richard on the original Blue Wonder decks and followed that with the Scarlet Wonders. His work is impeccable and has inspired many other playing card photographers in the community.

Let's delve into his captivating journey, exploring the intricate details, creative processes, and the delicate balance between artistic expression and functionality in his work.

Finding the Spark: Richard's journey into playing card photography began with a deck that sparked his curiosity—the White Regalia by Shin Lim. Initially sharing casual phone snapshots on Instagram, he soon realized the potential to elevate his craft. Inspired by his background in photography, he invested time in producing high-quality images, setting the foundation for what would become a flourishing passion.

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Crafting the Essence: Capturing the essence of diverse decks involves more than just technical skills; it's about translating the designer's vision into photography. Richard emphasizes the need for adaptability in his approach, tailoring lighting setups to highlight specific features such as embossing, foil, and spot-UV. He also teases a bit about using a special light and technique for foils, keeping some aspects of his craft shrouded in mystery.

The Art of Context: Creating a visual narrative for each deck requires finesse. Richard adds context to his photoshoots, ensuring props complement the deck rather than distract. The challenge lies in capturing the deck with minimal props, emphasizing the importance of understanding each deck's unique design. Influenced by captivating images across various photography genres, Richard draws inspiration from artists like Ryan Smith, appreciating those who maintain authenticity in their work.

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Mastering the Play of Light: Lighting, in Richard's view, is the cornerstone of photography. It shapes images, sets the tone, and directs attention to the product. Striking a balance between artistic expression and functional representation for card enthusiasts is crucial. Richard uses lighting to showcase the product without overshadowing it, ensuring his photos faithfully represent the actual deck.

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Favorites and Proudest Moments: Richard shares a glimpse into his favorite photoshoots, each with its own unique challenges and rewards. From the modern and unique Geneose Tarot Prototype to the meticulously planned theme for the Notorious Gambling Frog in Gold, every photoshoot holds a special place in his heart. His ability to use multiple lights for the Key Master Tarot Ultimate 3D case without overwhelming the product showcases his mastery. Additionally, the Scarlet Wonder Red & Gold Gilded deck and the simplicity yet impact of the 1st Playing Cards V1 reflect moments of pure photographic satisfaction.

Conclusion: Richard Arturo's journey as a playing card photographer is a testament to the marriage of artistry and technical skill. His ability to unveil the unique stories within each deck through the lens of his camera adds a layer of magic to the playing card community. As a Graphic Designer, Richard's keen eye for aesthetics coupled with his photography prowess has created a visual feast for enthusiasts and collectors alike, making him a celebrated name in the realm of playing card photography.

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