Review: Photographic Deck Project by Patrick Redford

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_custom_heading text=”Reviewer: Michael Siegel”][vc_column_text]DESCRIPTION

The Photographic Deck is made with the working mentalist and magician in mind. Yes, there are other decks made of photographs but none of them work or function like Patrick Redford’s Photographic Deck. It pushes the idea of a simple tool to the MAX. It started with thirteen photographs fifteen years ago, then it doubled to twenty-six. Now the system contains a full deck of 54 photographs. Each photograph represents a different playing card in a standard deck of cards. The Photographic Deck is the same size as a standard poker size deck of playing cards making it easy to manipulate. The Photographic deck will enhance your favorite card tricks. Learn the unique properties of the deck and perform unique effects not before possible.

Marvel at its design

The Photographic Deck is different. Yes, there have been other decks on the market that look similar, but none of them are quite as versatile as the Photographic Deck. Every photograph secretly represents a playing card from a standard deck of 54 playing cards (52 cards + two Jokers). The system is organic. The connection link from photograph to playing cards is undetectable unless you know the Photographic system. There are 26 black and white cards (representing the 26 black cards in the deck) and 26 full color cards (representing the red cards in the deck). Thirteen clubs are also represented in a logical linked system as well as and the thirteen photographs that represent each spade. Conversely, this is also true of the full color cards representing the hearts and diamonds.Below are eight photographs in the deck. The top four represent the four Kings (from left to right: King of Clubs, King of Diamonds, King of Spades, King of Hearts) and the bottom four represent the four Aces (from left to right: Ace of Clubs, Ace of Spades, Ace of Diamonds, Ace of Hearts).

Easy to Use
The system is easy to learn. You’ll quickly learn how to translate each image into its playing card equivalent minutes after opening your deck.

Marked Cards!
Each card is marked with a unique marking system that is exclusive to the Photographic deck. The marking system is easy to read and one only needs to see any one of the four sides of the back design to determine its suit and value. That means the cards may be identified while in a spread, dribbled from hand to hand, or while riffled towards the audience by one corner.

Stack the Photographic deck into any stack system you already know!
As all fifty-two cards and two Jokers are represented in the Photographic deck, the cards may be stacked in your favorite stack system. The deck comes in standard “New deck Order” and may easily be shuffled into various stacks like Si-Stebbins, The Redford Stack, Tamariz’s Mnemonica or any of your other favorite stacking systems. The combination of having a marked and stack deck of cards is a devastating tool. When this tool is disguised as a stack of photographs, its EVEN MORE disarming!

Easy to Use
Every Photographic Deck comes bundled with a unique set of routines, but virtually any card trick may be performed with this deck. Here’s a few that are included:

Photo Reading – Have someone think of one of the photographs and then have them recall a memory in from their own life that the photo invokes. Describe the exact age the participant is in their memory along with exact details without any fishing or cold reading techniques.

Haystack – The participant draws out five or six photos, shuffles them and thinks of one. These images are then shuffled back into the pack. The cards are now dealt out into several piles. The performer is able to then hone in on the exact pile the participant’s photograph is in and then somehow narrows it down to the exact image the participant is concentrating on.

The Cardboard Box Mystery – A participant pictures an item as if it was inside the photograph of an empty cardboard box. Another participant selects a photograph from the balance of the talon. Both participants find themselves thinking of the same image!

Number Prediction – A unique prediction using one of the very special cards!

Slots! – Adjust a photograph of a slot machine to win a second time and watch the photograph drop a handful of coins into real life!

Stab Your Mate – A photograph is taken out and placed aside without anyone looking at it.The performer is able to throw the photo of a stop sign face up into the deck only to have it land next to the only other photo that is related to the one placed aside. Is it luck or great skill?

Hide & Seek – You play the part of the psychic, then let your spectator try it. Things start out great but quickly get INSANE.

Photographic Memory – After teaching the audience how to memorize the order of thirteen photographs by creating a story, the photos are fairly mixed up and then the audience somehow is able to arrange them back into their memorized order without knowing how they’ve done it!

Cardboard Box Secrets – There are some hidden design that you can take advantage of. We can’t say too much without giving the game away!

Dash of Curry – The deck is cut in two piles, the participant selected any photo in one half and the photo at the same position in the second half perfectly relates back to the selected photo! When the other photos are examined by position there is no logical connection between them.

Photomancy – Two photos are selected and the deck is used as a divination tool to reveal both photographs in a unique way.

Small World – Almost any “Out of this World” style effect is possible with the Photographic Deck. “Small World” happens to be our favorite. Originally released inside the book with the same name sake, this routine is included as an extra bonus!

And more!

In addition to the main deck there are TWO expansion packs (available separately) that increase the possibilities even more!

No other deck on the market has ever combined all of these features together in one easy to use system.

This deck has been in the works for nearly fifteen years and its finally ready to share with the world. There are also two different optional expansion packs available (at an additional cost) with more on the way that push the limits of what you can do with this deck even further.


Photographic Deck Project by Patrick Redford is a standard sized deck of 54 specially selected photographs. Each photograph represents a different playing card. The Photographic Deck allows you to perform numerous magic and mentalism effects.

The Photographic Deck comes in a card case uniquely designed to look like a camera. There are several predictions and reveals built-in and hidden in the front and back of the card case. 

Each photograph is associated and linked to a particular playing card. While some of the associations are easy to remember, others are not. You will need to have several run-throughs with the actual deck along with the on-line video instructions several times to feel comfortable enough to perform confidently and without hesitation. If you do not use these cards regularly, I would strongly recommend that you review the correct associations before performing. The Photographic Deck comes pre-set in new deck order. You can stack the photographic deck anyway you would like you would with any regular playing card stack you use.

Even though the back of each card is mostly blank, each card is cleverly marked. The marking uses a binary system and you will need to get used to seeing the marking system. You will need to do a two- step process to determine what photograph was selected if using the marking system. You first need to determine the playing card that the marking refers to. Then you will have to convert that playing card to the photograph that it is associated with. There is no crib sheet. You will just have to remember it. This is not a typical, easy marking system where you quickly know the playing card selected. It will take a lot of practice and then more practice. Once you become comfortable in it, you can determine the photograph selected by looking either at the card selected or at the next card if using a particular stacking system. People with vision problems or working in dimly lit venues may find it difficult to quickly see the markings. Even Patrick Redford admits that he does not use the markings often.

The photographic deck also is a one way deck so you can tell which card was selected and put back into the deck. You can purchase the Photographic Deck Project with or without the expansion packs. The expansion packs come with a Mental Expansion pack of cards and a Magic Expansion pack of cards that allow you to do six additional effects and you can develop you own routines.

The instructional videos include a 26 minute instructional video by Patrick Redford where he goes over each and every photograph and its association with the matching playing card. He also goes over the marking system. There are separate, individual videos for each routine. With the expansion packs, there are 12 routines that are explained.

The routines are diverse, and a magician and/or mentalist will find several routines that he/she likes.

Mastery of this deck and the routines, while not requiring require sleight of hand, they do require being comfortable using the photographic deck.

With the expansion packs, this set of cards is US$60.00. It is clear that Patrick Redford spent considerable time, thought and money in developing this deck and in providing numerous routines. Some routines are better than others. You will not be disappointed if you put in some work and thought into what and why you want to perform a particular effect. If you put in some time, you will get a lot of mileage and you will learn some strong and entertaining routines using these photographic set of cards. 8 out of 10 lucky charms.       

Magic is our passion but we are not a magic shop ? You can purchase this here!

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”gp-standard-sidebar”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Ning Cai is a Singapore Literature Prize nominated author, who was also long listed for the Epigram Books Fiction Prize in 2016. A bestselling writer, she is also recognised for her illusionist/ escapologist stage character Magic Babe Ning, and recognised by Channel News Asia as South East Asia's first professional female magician.

Table of Contents

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Share on telegram
Share on email