A need to preserve her late dad’s photos gave Beth Ware the idea for a business that turned into The Memory Lab.
Here she gives us the full picture about her Altrincham-based photo scanning and digital restoration service.
ALTRINCHAM TODAY: Can you tell us a bit about The Memory Lab and how it came to be?
BETH WARE: After a lot of re-evaluating and goal-setting at the start of the year It was clear that I should take that leap and start my own business. I’ve always had a keen interest in photography, but it wasn’t until I lost my dad in 2020 and I was looking through old family albums that I began to truly value the importance of physical photographs. The thought of losing some of my old photographs of my family and not being able to show them to my daughter once she was old enough started to worry me; and that was the driving force in starting The Memory Lab.
AT: What services do you offer?
BW: The Memory Lab is an online business offering digitising and image restoration services. Scanning your old photographs, albums and slides takes some time, and it’s often difficult to get good quality results that preserve the integrity of the original image.
The Memory Lab takes that time-consuming task away from the customer and digitises all their old images at extremely high quality, making them much easier to organise, share and duplicate.
AT: When did you launch and how has it been received?
BW: The business was launched in April of this year. It’s had its unique challenges launching a business during such a time of uncertainty, but it being an online business has given me the flexibility to work on launching from my home office in Altrincham!
The response so far has been really encouraging and I’ve already been fortunate enough to meet lots of interesting people, all with wonderful stories to share through their old pictures and albums.
AT: What’s your background and does photography feature?
BW: My background is in media. After graduating with a degree in Cinema, Photography and Television Studies in 2009, I went on to work in post-production for a number of media companies including a national broadcaster.
My passion for photography however really grew whilst I was living in America a few years ago. I developed a keen interest in portrait and street photography and undertook a couple of courses at Philadelphia Photo Arts Centre which I found extremely rewarding.
AT: There must be some wonderful stories unlocked by the photos you restore?
BW: I really do consider it a privilege being able to help preserve old images. A couple of stories include the most fabulous print of a customer’s grandfather out on the field in his rugby kit – in his late 60s! I know this image holds a special place in the customer’s heart as it represents his grandfather’s spirit – hard-working and committed in everything he did.
I also had the pleasure of digitising some old newspaper pages for a customer who’s wedding announcement was featured back in 1961. The newspaper shows a wonderfully natural shot of the couple and describes all the beautiful details that helped to make up their special day – they are soon to be celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary and it’s hoped these newly digitised images will be passed around for their party guests to enjoy.
AT: What would you advise anyone reading this – reminded of a precious photo or album in the loft but unsure where to start?
BW: If you’ve got a precious photo album or a box of slides that you’d like to future-proof or an old fragile photograph that needs a bit of TLC then please do get in touch to discuss how The Memory Lab can help.
For our Altrincham customers, I love coming to collect the images personally so I can introduce myself, have a quick chat and assure them that their beloved family photos are in safe hands. We can’t let these beautiful points in our history get lost in the next big clear-out or house-move; they are just too important.
For more information about The Memory Lab, contact Beth on 07738332868, visit thememorylab.co.uk or follow The Memory Lab UK on Facebook or @the_memory_lab_uk on Instagram.