To give the details of the photo shoot and how everything happened, I need to flash back to June.  After I determined that the e-mail coming from Better Homes & Gardens wasnt' a scam, excitement turned to nausea when I realized a professional camera lens would be in the house.  The plan was that the magazine would be sending a field editor, or scout, to the house to look around, set up some camera angles and take some shots.  I had about two weeks to get things ready.

At that point, I had just finished the little construction project to make room for a new downstairs bathroom so I could expand the kitchen.  The walls were unpainted and I had a 1960s portable dishwasher on one side of the stove and a microwave cart on the other.

I swapped those out with two cheap cabinets from Home Depot that painted in BM Rockport Gray.  I also happened to find an old lab table with a slate top that was the perfect size and height for an island.

I also added open shelves above the stove and new cabinets.  The brackets were from Home Depot and were about $9 each.  These were painted out in BM White River which is the same my trim color in the living room, dining room and kitchen.

I added butcher block countertops on the new cabinets.  These are 1-1/2 inch hard rock maple that I ordered from John Boos & Co.   I was able to order a 4-foot section which I cut down to fit the two cabinets.  I ordered them on-line and it was delivered to my door a few days later.  These are unfinished and should be conditioned with food-grade mineral oil but they also come unfinished.  When I do the major kitchen renovation, they will become big cutting boards.

Here's the "before" of the kitchen...

...and this is what it looks like now.  I tried to add up the cost of all of these changes and, excluding the stove, it's about $900. That includes cabinets, countertops, open shelving, kitchen island, bamboo blinds and paint.

A few days before July 4th weekend, I got e-mail from the editor of BH&G saying they were having trouble finding a field editor who could come in time to get them photos for their editorial management meeting and asked if I could put together a list of before and after shots for them to week.

Sure I can do that.

But first, I wanted to get this doubly duty closet done.  The next morning, I got up at 4:30 so I could the wallpaper up before going to work.  A little bit of shopping at the Cambridge Antiques Market for barware over the 4th of July weekend and I was ready to take my photos.

Here's my before of the dining room.

And here are the afters.

Many thanks for Shelley from Bow Street Flowers for coming through with all the flowers for my own photo shoot.

I'm not sure these will ever be done I was pretty satisfied with how the shelves looked.

This was another shot I included just to have a little fun and to show the versatility of the dining room.  Although the basic elements of the room are very neutral, it's easy to bring in a little color just by adding a few accessories.

When the stylist and photographer arrived, they had a shot list that included these photos along with instructions on what should be included in, and what should be removed from the shot.  Although the photographer was free to take and submit his own shots, the shoot was very clearly directed.

Next time, I try to explain and demonstrate and what I learned about taking photographs.