How to make photos of Pokemon Cards?

Since a lot of you have Ebay accounts and a lot more experience than I thought this might be the right place to get some answers.
Whenever I take photos of my cards for Ebay or Cardmarket I have a bit of glare on an edge from the light.

I always thought that it was obvious that it was from the light but recently a lot of people told me that it wasn’t clear for them and they thought it was whitening.
Since then I’v tried to play with the light source or go into an room with bright overhead light but nothing worked for me.

So now to my question: How do take pictures of your cards and how do you get rid of the glare?


I typically use a scanner. Maybe you can reduce the glare by putting the card facedown instead of standing up?


Personally, that clearly doesn’t look like edge wear, but I can see why others say that.

Scanners are nice, but some have a few issues:

  • They don’t work with slabs because of the point of focus. (slabs come out blurry :sob:)
  • They don’t show the condition of the surface, so if someone asks for that, ya gotta take more pics with a camera.
  • The typical white backplate is inferior (I think) to the black, and can’t often be replaced.

Here’s what I do:

  • Use a black background with a black base.
  • Angle the background so as not to reflect much light towards the camera.
  • Use a muted light source with either multiple filaments, or a frosted gel or piece of thin paper over the bulb.
  • Place the light source above the target, and in front of it so as to minimize the reflections on the card surfaces.

You can go so far as to make a cradle or stand for your camera/phone so that it does not change position while you take pics. - Makes your listings look more professional.
It is difficult to completely remove the glare off the edge, but it can be done with some of the techniques I include below. You can see, I have varying degrees of success.
I’ve included a few demos below. The Island is the best result.


Overall I prefer scanners but need to use a really high DPI to make scratches visible and then it takes an eternity.

I’ve tried your suggestions and I got the best result by taping a paper towel over my desk lamp and angleing my background slightly.

It’s still not perfect but definitely better than before.

Thanks for the two of you for your help


Ye i’m having issues myself but the pictures are not for selling purposes so the requirements are different. I do take pictures with natural sunlight from the side and then i hold a piece of cardboard above it. That really helps to capture the holo foil. But i always have a blurry part to my pictures and i fear it’s because of the sunlight…

For taking pictures without sunlight i am starting to think that a different lightsource then my phone alone is important because now it’s not what it should be. Two different lightsources can get even more out of the holofoil because certain parts are not visible from certain directions.

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Maybe your holding your smartphone to close to the card.
I think that the lighting wouldn’t affect your camera focus. At least there shouldn’t be a difference between sunlight and an artificial light source.

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I use my shitty phone, period.

Here’s a useful guide I used:

The key is to make sure you don’t have a lot of light bleeding in from the sides, because the glare can definitely create a subconscious “whitening” effect.


My method is I go near a window on a side of the house opposite the sun, usually in the evening when the light is less intense. So it’s non-direct sunlight, evening light. It’s still bright enough, but the light is soft, the holo pops, and usually no glare if I angle the camera correctly and always on a black surface.

ungraded example:

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The multiple light sources is clever. You might try making a rig to hold the camera in place while you take the pictures, so you can do multiples quickly.
I’d say the blurriness in your image is certainly from movement in your hand, or something when holding the phone. Could be residue on the lens as well, but I’m almost certain it’s motion blur. More light will wash it out and ultimately destroy it, but not make it blurry. To test this, you can dial down the exposure, ISO, or F stop, whichever your phone labels it as, and see if the image is sharp. It should be.

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That looks really good! Nice! No hypochondriatic collector (is that a thing?) would complain about whitening on THAT one!

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I always took pictures of my cards with a white background, but definitely with black they look better. Just tried with two cards, one from my favourite Pokémon and a second one that it’s a Meowth :sweat_smile:

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It’s always a struggle to fight glare. There are some really decent light boxes on amazon for a more repeatable look. Cheaper than you’d think too. They have dark grey or black background options which is always good for showing condition. @xileets showed a good angle with his ttar. I try to show this angle and light reflecting off to show any further damage if there is any. The more angles you have the better.