If you have ever wondered why our photos are so beautiful – the answer is Jess! She has a meticulous process for photographing all of our stunning yarn so we thought we would share it with you. From the yarn being delivered to our back door to updating the website with accurate & flawless photos, Jessica is hands-on and truly knows what she is doing. We are so lucky to have her talent and eye for detail!

img_4994Yarn Arrives

We love hearing the UPS man knock at our back bay door because that means we get to unpack big boxes of beautiful squishy yarn. Sometimes he only delivers a few boxes but sometimes, usually when we place a big Madelinetosh order, he slings 15 boxes off the truck. The excitement really begins as we load up our red dolly and bring those yarn bombs into our unpacking room. There’s a barrage of kitty paws ripping at the tape and squeeing over all the pretties!



As we unpack the boxes, we count every single skein to ensure our order was filled correctly. We do our very best to make sure our inventory reflects exactly what we received. If we receive 2 bags of a colorway that don’t match well, we note the different dye lots on the invoice. At this point, we pick the skein from each dye lot that gives the best representation of the colorway for Jessica to photograph. We call this box of singles “orphans.”




Before Jessica starts her re-photographing process, she compares the orphans to the picture we currently have on the website. Sometimes they match quite well so there is no need to re-photo but, most of the time, they need to be re-photographed because of the variability of hand-dyed yarn. We want to give you the best idea of what your skein will look like when you pull it out of your box so this is a tedious yet necessary process! Jessica’s eye for detail really comes into play here.




Once Jessica compares the orphans to the website, she begins photographing! She expertly skeins and smooths each skein to make them look super pretty. It’s amazing how perfectly Jess can skein yarn – with a little twist and flick of the wrist, perfect skein every time! She then places the skeins in our photobooth, focuses the camera, and clicks away.

Funny story about our photobooth – there is Velcro around the edges of the booth for some reason. Well, Jessica has very fine, silky hair and it ALWAYS gets caught on that Velcro when she’s reaching to put the skeins inside. If you look closely at the picture, you can see where Jessica stuck scrap yarn to the Velcro so she wouldn’t get her purple locks caught every 5 seconds! Think this would qualify for the Tangled badge?


Jessica edits each photo to color and light correct – the camera does the best it can but sometimes it gets it wrong. This is where Jessica’s highly-trained eye gets put to work. She places the skein next to her monitor for reference as she works her magic. She makes slight color adjustments and “cleans up” any dust or stray fibers that may have floated in her booth. With the wave of her stylus, perfect photos are ready to be uploaded for your viewing pleasure!


Save, Upload, Add to Inventory

The final step in her journey is to save all the photos, resize them for thumbnails & zoom views, and upload them to the website. Dan created an awesome “Inventory Assistant” that allows us to add skeins to inventory super quickly and efficiently.

Adventures in Photography

Jessica & Emily really like going on photography adventures to get shots of our pretty yarn outdoors or posed around the shop. Most of the time, they get great shots quickly and enjoy the break from sitting in their offices. BUT! Sometimes, things just don’t jive. They encounter ants, some forehead sweat, wind, and skeins that just don’t want their photo taken. But the end result is usually worth it. They have been secretly working on a calendar so here is a sneak peak!


From start to finish and depending on how big the shipment is, this process can take days. Jessica is really good about posting and updating inventory as she goes and the hard work she puts into her photography definitely doesn’t go unnoticed. Give this kitty some praise in the comments below!

13 thoughts on “Snapshots

  1. Jessica is the best — because of her, ESK definitely has the most true-to-life photos of yarn, which makes online shopping for hand-dyed lovelies so much easier than I ever thought it could be! Thanks for sharing the process 🙂

  2. Thanks, Jess! I always shop at the store and I can attest to the fact that your photos are perfect! I can go right to the color I’m looking for in the bin because your photos are so accurate!!

  3. Jessica, your skills are AH-MAZING!!! Thank you for being so careful to give us accurate photos of the yarn. And a CALENDAR??!!? I can’t wait!!!

  4. Thanks Jess for trying your best to give us an accurate visual representation of the skeins on the website! I really do appreciate your hard work, effort and touch of magic!

  5. Jessica – The Photo Foo Guru! Thank you for all you do! (A poet who didn’t know it). Lol
    Seriously, yours are my go-to yarn pics for truest representation when showing someone what color I’m using for a project! My stash photos don’t cut the mustard! 😊

  6. Big kudos to your skills Jessica! Now we know who to thank for all of those yummy photos that we can drool over. Thank you. You are awesome!

  7. ESK’s pictures are the best and sadly I can’t say the same about other larger online yarn stores. Either the pictures are out of focus, the colors look flat, or they don’t even show the entire skein!!! I appreciate all the work that Jessica and ESK puts forwards to have the best pictures of lovely yarn on the website.

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