The Art of Age Progression: Part 3

May 12, 2010

I expect you’ve all seen this  –  In Madeleine McCann’s case her parents went to America to have the age progression done and this helped to maximize publicity – it was first aired on the Oprah Winfrey show. Here, they have kept the distinctive abnormality of the iris, any distinguishing mark such as a scar, a mole, a crooked nose all help to identify one person from another. They will have made the iris smaller to give the illusion of being older…not quite so wide eyed and baby like. They have stretched the lower part of her face, using pictures of her mum and dad at the same age as a guide. The nose has lengthened and the nasal bridge is more defined. All these factors contribute to the ageing process and help the public to visualise how she could look now.

Image produced by Missing People

In the case of missing boy Ben Needham who disappeared off the island of Kos, an updated image will inform people that they are no longer looking for a two year old blonde haired boy, but that now he would be 19, resembling his parents at that age and no doubt with darker hair. Many aged images have been produced by different artists and it’s important to remember – it’s an artist using the computer to create the image, not the computer creating it, so it can sometimes be subjective and not always precise.

You may be wondering if age progression images actually look like the person when they are found, well here is one of my first cases that I did at missing persons where the girl who had been abducted by her father to Pakistan was eventually found. Here is the recovery photo compared to the age progressed image.

It’s great to have success stories but unfortunately, an age progressed image is normally a last resort tactic to trying to find someone and therefore by the time you’re an age progression has been requested, the chances of that person being found are less likely.

Here’s another high profile missing person…..

The FBI recently produced a number of updated images of America’s most wanted… age progression techniques can be used to try and gain new information in ongoing law enforcement enquiries. Also, in terms of those who are wanted, it is important to show how they could look with different hairstyles, beards, with or without glasses etc.

Part 4 follows soon…

Auriole Prince BA MMAA RMIP


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