After the Webinar: Capturing Great Mug Shots. Q&A with Margery Broadwater

Webinar presenter Margery Broadwater answered a number of your questions after her presentation, Capturing Great Mug Shots: Why Quality Matters. Here are just a few of her responses.


Audience Question: Are you aware of any tools that will examine mugshots and confirm whether it meets minimum standards? Kind of like what live scan devices do? So I think the idea is it’s like software that might look at the photo and determine whether or not meet it meets your minimum criteria for submission. 

Margery Broadwater: I am not aware of anything, I will tell you that we, the FBI does not reject a photo. As long as the ten-print passes, the photo comes in. So we do not reject a photo on the basis of the photo itself. If the ten print is a bad ten-print, the ten-print will get rejected and anything with it would also get rejected. The photo might be really good and it’ll get rejected because the ten-print got rejected. But otherwise no. I am not aware of any kind of tools or examination software that will tell you if a photo is good or not.



Audience Question: If a female suspect has too much makeup on, is it okay to tell them to remove it since it may change the appearance of the individual before taking the photo? 

Margery Broadwater: We don’t really have a standard for that per se. I don’t think it would be beyond a reasonable expectation to ask them to remove it. As we mentioned makeup can alter their looks. So you know, one of the best practices is, if the hair is down, pull the hair back behind the ears. If they have glasses on, take off the glasses, if they have a hat on or a hoodie, they’re going to have to take that off. I don’t really see where that could be a problem. I don’t know that we specifically outline that. I would have to go back and look at the video, it may mention something in the video. So I will go back and look at that. We don’t have a rule one way or the other on that. But you kind of can let your gut be your guide, I think, on a lot of these things. Yeah, and I think common sense too.



Audience Question: What is best practice for side photos? He gives a couple of options here. One, full side photo at a 90-degree angle. Two, angle- three quarters. Three, A side photo of the head, 90 degrees with their head turned and backed up against the background. So what is the best practice for a site photo? 

Margery Broadwater: I would say it would be a 90 degree for the right and 90 degrees for the left. Now we do get angle photos in.  We get some interesting things that come in. I’ll throw this out here because some of you may be familiar with this. We have actually gotten in one photo that was taken, it’s like the front-facing but then there are side mirrors that capture the sides. I don’t know what you call that. But it’s one photo, and it’s capturing the front-facing the right and the left, but it’s all in one photo. That’s kind of odd. There may be a vendor that has been pushing those that in the past, I don’t know. But it’s just kind of odd when those come in because really a mug shot is supposed to be one photo. But yes, on your angles, just do a 90 degree. I would prefer myself I think it’s best if you’re only going to take three photos, do a front-facing a 90 degree right and a 90 degree left. And that should give you everything that you would need.



Audience Question: Do you recommend photographing the subject both with and without glasses? 

Margery Broadwater: Yes. The primary photo that you’re going to take is going to be without the glasses. You can have them put their glasses back on and take an additional one. But makes sure that you have one without the glasses.



Audience Question: When a subject is booked directly into a medical facility, do you recommend that we go ahead and capture a mug shot at the facility when we captured the ten prints even though the background might not follow the standards 

Margery Broadwater: If they are going to fingerprint them there, I would have them go ahead and photo and just keep in mind these best practices and try to choose a background that’s going to be the very best they can get.



Audience Question: In a scenario like that where maybe the initial mug shot is not great? Can you submit additional supplementary mugshots once they get to the booking area? 

Margery Broadwater:  Yes, you can. How that works is you would have to submit what we call a biometric image submission. It is the type of transaction is called an F as in Frank, I as in India, S as in Sam. It’s called a FIS type of transaction, because you already have an FBI number established for that individual, and you have a date of arrest. So you’re going to link that to the photo and the fingerprint that is already on file. So any additional, Yes, you could submit that as a biometric image transmission.

Aaron: I did just get someone that confirmed they will book a person at the hospital and they do recommend you capture a photo, just in case the person ends up escaping.


Click Here to Watch a Recording of Capturing Great Mug Shots: Why Quality Matters.  


Additional Resources
3 years ago
Understanding and Implementing Inmate Discipline
Instilling discipline is one of the critical roles of correctional facilities. Inmate discipline is […]
3 years ago
Thoughts on Incarceration from Carrie Hill
We loved this quote from Carrie Hill of the National Sheriffs Association made during her webinar, " […]
3 years ago
Excited Delirium and Agitated Chaotic Events: Recognizing, Responding, and Preventing Sudden, In-Custody Deaths
Calls for service for law enforcement can get totally random and unexpected. There are slow days whe […]
5 years ago
Use of Force and Officer Safety: An interview with Dr. Jeff Fox, PhD
No one becomes an officer wanting to use excessive force to detain or apprehend people. But in th […]