Turning precious memories into Lasting Reflections
Lasting Reflections is a new service set up by Mal Benham that turns your photo collection into durable mementos, either in print or digitally.
Mal Benham, a Cambridge resident for 20 years, says the bespoke memoirs are a great way to make use of the photos that people take, store and then don’t know what to do with.
“It is a lovely way to help stay connected with each other and to celebrate precious memories and life’s milestones,” she says. “Perhaps it could be grandparents who haven’t seen their grandchildren for a long time and have missed out on the little one’s first step or the first birthday and more. Some customers like to have both digital and printed as a keepsake to pass on to future generations.
“The digital books offer an enhanced reading experience providing you with the tools to instantly upload the designs and they have unlimited pages. Each design is a unique digital artwork. People normally want digital as it’s easier and quicker to share with family and friends who might be located all around the world.
“It is a unique way of celebrating one’s life and to share those precious memories that are more valuable to us than ever before.”
The most popular genres are toddlers and anniversaries. Customers are “of all ages and often the animated books are sent around the globe by the whole family”. A digital memoir takes three days to produce, and a printed version takes ten days.
The success of each project is all in the design.
“The key for a successful memoir is to create a design that’s tailor-made to reflect the life and character of the person or the occasion being celebrated avoiding using standard templates,” says Mal. “One of the things that digital memory books does best is conveying emotion quickly and powerfully with the use of music and the way the photos are animated.”
The idea emerged out of her own loss.
“The idea of creating animated digital books from standard photos such as the ones you have taken on your phone, to bring them to life, began when my brother and I collaborated to design our mother’s memoir in 2019,” says Mal. “Having designed the booklet celebrating her amazing life, we started working together on designs to help others tell their story whilst supporting each other through our own grief. We then adapted the idea to include all life milestones.
“The design of the memory book brought us so much comfort and joy that we wanted to help others share their beautiful stories for life celebrations with others. With great sadness, my brother, Mark passed away in 2020, at which point this project became Mark’s legacy.
“Our passion for graphic design was the foundation for our business. I made a promise to Mark to continue with our ethos, ideas and designs to bring loved ones’ lifelong memories to life in bespoke printed or digital booklets which can also be animated with audio.”
Mal adds: “The grieving process has been extremely hard but I have found solace in the fact that I am taking forward my brother’s legacy in a way that I hope will help others retain the precious memories of their loved ones. I am determined to make the business a success for Mark and it is a way of keeping his memory alive. I hope my memory books will bring joy and comfort to people who also wish to keep memories of their loved ones alive and celebrate their lives.”
Memories can be preserved in the books for occasions such as graduations, weddings, baby births, early years, birthdays, obituaries, travel stories and sporting events.