Two years ago, Stephen Gill, a London-based photographer, purchased 9,000 negatives on eBay that were said to contain images of London's EastEnd in the 1950s. Gill was hoping the negatives would document the area's vibrant street life. Instead, there were thousands and thousands of pictures of East Enders on their wedding days. He spoke about his find: "All the images were made by one photographer, but since the negatives passed from hand to hand, no one is sure who the photographer is. He used a high-quality medium-format camera with flash, which gives you incredible detail in fabric and textures and those overexposed cakes and flowers. The pictures were probably taken between 1956 and 1959. Someof the couples are a little old, and this is because many people were remarrying around that time after losing their first spouses in the Second World War. Some couples had three or four films from their wedding day and others just six frames. I feel this reflects what the couple or the couple's parents could afford. But something special always seems to happen when the photographer asks the couple to kiss." ! ©THEY DIP Additional photographs are at nytimes.com/magazine.
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