phototlclogo.bmpPhoto TLC, a Petaluma, Calif. company that helps restore and personalize photos and other gifts, has apparently shut down, VentureBeat has learned.

Little more than a year ago, the company raised $10 million in a venture capital round led by Disney’s Steamboat Ventures, which was a late time for a photo company to be raising money.

Hundreds of photo companies had already launched, although PhotoTLC was part of a group of new wave moving toward customization as a way to diversify. But many others were jumping in the same area, such as Zazzle. Scores of photo sites have shuttered over the past few years.

Here’s part of an email that an employee sent to a contact at partner company, forwarded to VentureBeat by a credible source:

“I am writing to let you know that PhotoTLC has decided to close their business today without notifying any customers in advance. I WISH I HAD MORE OF A HEADS UP BUT I WAS NOTIFIED THE SAME TIME YOU WERE. It has been a tough day and a huge shock to me as well as I had no idea this was going to happen. I wish I had more to say but words can’t express exactly how I feel at this time.”

We’ve put in a call to the company to confirm, but it is late. Strangely, PhotoTLC’s site is still up, and appears functional, as is the site of Club Photo, a Texas company it acquired in late 2005.