I took numerous old-school analogue photographs at my older niece’s wedding last year. They came out pretty well overall, which encouraged me to do the same for my younger niece, who got married last weekend.

I knew I’d be using my trusty Nikon FM3a. I knew part of the proceedings would take place in a relatively poorly-lit hall: not having a fast lens I obtained a Nikkor 50mm f1.4 AI-S for it, and also dusted off my old speedlight, in case a flash might be needed. In my experience, Kodak 400-TX film has been the most flexible and forgiving that I’ve used, so I ordered some rolls of that, despite it now costing the better part of £15 per roll.

I was disconcerted to find, when the time came to send the exposed rolls of film off for processing, that Peak Imaging in Sheffield, who had been my lab of choice over the last twelve years or so, had permanently closed their doors. This time, I used Ag Photolab in Birmingham, whose service on first acquaintance seemed similarly excellent.

Despite all my advance planning, alas, the end results were something of a disappointment. I was unaware that the FM3a, now about twenty years old, had sprung a light leak since last summer: it didn’t affect every frame, but it spoiled a couple of dozen of them. And just my being out-of-practice (I’d not taken any pictures on film over the rest of the year) meant that the proportion of shots that were out-of-focus, poorly-framed or badly-timed was regrettably high.

There were still some frames that came out OK; and of course I was only one among many guests taking pictures, not to mention the professional photographer, who gave every indication of doing a thorough job of documenting the happy event.