‘Rock n Robin': A1950’s Christmas Shoot for the BBC

I know what you’re thinking…Christmas stuff already woman?! Well just hear me out would ya?*

I’ve known wedding photographer Ashton Jean-Pierre ever since we both went to Emma Case’s wedding back in March. I don’t think we managed to talk on the night, but after the event I saw some of his incredible photos (that he just took on his iPhone!) on facebook and so I got in contact to ask if I could share some of them on my blog. He said yes and we’ve chatted online ever since.

Ashton is deaf which makes no difference at all when communicating online, but when he asked if Gareth & I would like to do a mini shoot with him I was a teeny tiny bit nervous on how we would get on in ‘real life’. However I needn’t have worried. Ashton is so expressive and animated that it’s actually pretty easy to have a conversation. Although I didn’t know any sign language before we met, we were easily able to chat by gesturing and using a good old fashioned pen and paper to write things down when my feeble attempts and signing prompted confused expressions all round.

This is definitely one of my fave shots from the whole shoot…how cool does Gareth look?

The reason for the shoot was that Ashton was being profiled for See Hear on the BBC, their show for the deaf community. They are doing an arts special (to be broadcast on 30th November on BBC2) and they wanted to film him doing his job and interview him about what it’s like to be a deaf wedding photographer. I clearly am a huge fan of his work so I was so excited to be asked to take part.

So, last Wednesday Gareth, Elbie and I were up at the crack of dawn (and I mean crack…Elbie had to get up at 4.45am!) to get to Birmingham for the shoot.

The BBC wanted our shoot to have a Christmas theme because of when the show is going out on TV. However not being a fan of Xmas-tack, we decided to strip it all back and keep it simple…a low-key Christmas if you will. This is more Ashton’s style anyway.

I decided I wanted to wear this green vintage dress, which had been altered for me by the Fur Cost No Knickers ladies into a 1950’s shape (I think it was originally an 80’s prom dress) and so the idea for a 1950’s Christmas was born.

side note: remember I gave up drinking for a month? Well I didn’t have a hope in hell of getting into this dress three weeks ago and now I can. Wooo!

I researched some 50’s hair and make up ideas online, but after looking at a lot of prim and proper hair styles and perfectly applied make up, Elbie and I decided that wasn’t really ‘me’ and so we decided to mess it up a bit. This photo of Madonna was the main inspo for my slightly disheveled hair style and shape of the eye make up. We also channeled this look and added it to my eyes. Of course I needed glitter too…glitter makes everything better.

Photographer Steve Gerrard kindly let us invade his studio to get ready (and be interviewed for the show) in.

The shoot went really well. Ashton was so easy to work with and we had such a laugh… although I’ll be honest I did get a bit nervous when he was standing in the middle of the road to get a shot – cue manic waving in his direction when cars were coming!

Ashton shoots film as opposed to digital images. He’s so passionate about film photography and it’s completely inspiring to see him talk about it. There are a lot of wedding photographers experimenting with film photography at the moment, but Ashton shoots exclusively with it. When the BBC were interviewing him about his love of the format his eyes just lit up…and looking at these images I can see why he loves it so. Don’t get me wrong, I adore digital photography, but there really is something magic about film. It’s so tangible and permanent. It has such a natural, pure and raw quality and the texture and colour is like nothing else.

I have a little background in the medium, and I’ve always been a fan. I shot and developed my own black and white film in my A-Level photography course (although I was never really any good...And I was scared of the dark dark room that you had to go into to take the roll out of the canister!) Our wedding was shot in film too.

We has a great day and I can’t wait to see the show on BBC2. But for now, I hope you enjoy some of my favourite photos from the day.

*Remember, this time last year I was still working at the shopping channel and would have had Christmas ‘cheer’ thrust upon me since mid-September (seriously…the Christmas set goes up in the first week of October!) So for me, only starting to think about Crimbo at the beginning of November is pretty late!

Thanks to all the suppliers who helped us bring this shoot together so quickly (listed after the gallery…)

♥ Photography Credit: Ashton Jean-Pierre
♥ Dress: Vintage dress altered (shortened, neckline changed, straps added and rainbow petticoat made) by Fur Cost No Knickers (this is the same dress that I wore for the London Tattoos book shoot. Recognise it?)
♥ Shoes: Upper Street
♥ Necklace: Magpie Vintage
♥ Faux Fur Jacket: Elbie’s
♥ Gareth’s Jacket & Shirt: Superdry
♥ Pom Poms & Stripy Straws: Peach Blossom
♥ Clay signs (‘Mistletoe & Wine’ and mini reindeer): Cherrypie Lane
♥ Flashing mini snowman/confetti: Morrisons
♥ Rock n Roll Bride logo: Cutture
♥ Hair & Make Up: Elbie Van Eeden


  1. Post author

    thanks guys! Deer Donna, yep they do. they once reworked a brides mother’s wedding dress so she could wear it for her wedding :-) lovely!

  2. Love this shoot, and I have soft spot (not too soft though as I am evil) for Ashton JP work. Love these pictures – and now you have the perfect images to send out on your Xmas cards *big ass nudge*. Gorgeous work, and after seeing Gareth trying out the wedding clothes in Birmingham – and this I think he is at risk of turning into a bit of a diva!


  3. Post author

    lets hope so too charlie! thanks again for the beautiful signs. cant wait to put my xmas decorations up in our house now!

  4. fur coat no knickers have done an AMAZING job on that dress. do they customise dresses from afar? i would love to buy a vintage dress and get it reworked by them!

    p.s. the photos are truly gorgeous. ashton is amazing. what gorgeous shots. i loooove christmasss!!! <33333333

  5. So bloody amazing! I adore the photos,the styling, the dress, the hair… everything! I hope the BBC show gets a good audience, ‘cos frankly, these NEED to be seen! Thanks so much for including some of my stuff too! :D xx

  6. The colour in these shots is amazing, I just love them.
    Congratulations on getting into the dress too. I recently found a 50’s prom dress in a really similar colour – it’s at the dressmakers now getting some tlc. I am definitley going to email her now and ask if she can add some coloured tulle underneath!!

  7. Hi Kat, thanks for including us on here! it’s rather apt actually, as Nicolas who works for us, and is our longest serving employee, is also deaf, he was the one who made the sign for you (the second time around!) so that’s quite a nice connection for the program….will tell him when it’s on! x

  8. I Wish Ashton all the success in the world, these are wonderful images. Hope the TV apperance leads to more and more brilliant shoots like this x x kat n gareth, as ever looking super hot :)

  9. That dress looks good on you!! and the shot of gareth doing the jump is top…is he a real rocknroll star??

  10. Jessica

    You and Gareth are such mega babes! The picture of you guys blowing snowflakes at each other is priceless!

  11. Karlie

    I’m absolutely jealous of this wedding shoot! Everything is so original! If I had something like this I’d post it on Facebook and send it to everyone in my contact list

  12. These are amaaaaazing! What gorgeous colors – actually sort of reminds me of what I looked like at our church wedding but way more awesome. I want to steal that dress from you! ;P And the one of Gareth jumping is pretty darn epic. I love the milk bottle ones too! I love all of it! Very talented photographer, these are all stunning.

  13. I LOVE film photography. Nice to see Gareth in some photos, and you look absolutely gorgeous! Amazingly beautiful photos!

  14. oh thats totally awesome kat, because i would love to buy a vintage dress and have it reworked. argh! sooo exciting!

  15. Louisa

    Very complementary write up Kat, Ashton just loves shoting, he captures every aspect of his subjects and brings them to life, I’m an extremely proud mum. <3

  16. I hope you dont mind me saving some of these pics you just so happen to be wearing the exact vision of what i imagine my bridesmaids should wear – thank you! for giving me an actual photo!

  17. ashamed to say i’ve only just managed to look at all the pics, but so worth the wait as they are lush!!! Ashton is a friend of mine from Uni days, a great guy with an fab talent, you all clearly had loads of fun on this shoot! can’t wait to see it all on tv now! x

  18. These images are absolutely gorgeous! Such a fab shoot & yes, that photo of Gareth is tres cool! Can’t wait to see the BBC show ~ Ashton deserves all the recognition & success coming his way.


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