ABOUT FACE COMPARISONS
Face Comparisons is a website business owned by Joelle Steele and Joelle Steele Enterprises, founded in 1983. Joelle Steele is an anthropometrist/biometricist who analyzes and compares faces in photographs to authenticate their identities. She is also a writer, artist, and publisher.
Short Résumé of Joelle Steele's facial features analysis background.
Face to Face with Joelle Steele interview.
Face to Face: Analysis and Comparison of Facial Features to Authenticate Identities of People in Photographs, a book and ebook by Joelle Steele.
In 1975, Joelle's interest in genealogy and antique family photos developed into a desire to identify people in old photograph albums. She studied anthropometry and the early works of the late forensic ear expert Alfred Iannarelli, and then studied facial and cranial anatomy for the sole purpose of making the most precise identifications possible. In 1980, she began offering her services as an anthropometrist specializing in the analysis and comparison of facial features to authenticate or confirm identities of people in photographs. Her first client was a Nazi hunter with more than 200 photos purported to be of missing Nazi war criminals, two of which were matches. Among the many faces whose identities she has authenticated — some many times — are those of Jesse James, Abraham Lincoln, Bonnie Parker, Billy the Kid, and George Pickett.
To date, Joelle has examined approximately 180,000 photographs of people, of which she analyzed and compared facial features for approximately 25,000 different faces. More than fifty percent of her business involves the use of genealogical data to support her analyses and findings. Through working with genealogists and in examining family photographs and sometimes family portraiture, she has been able to closely observe the similarities, differences, and variations in facial features between and among family members over periods of up to twelve generations. She has been engaged as an expert in approximately 20 civil cases involving the identification of people in photographs. She also teaches facial features analysis in adult education environments and in private venues.
Unlike most photo authenticators who rely primarily on historic provenance, Joelle specializes in analyzing faces and confirming identities of people in photographs. She uses the basic anthropometric system which she developed further in the late 1970s to ensure the most exacting and accurate comparative measurements for faces in photographs. She does not rely on any biometric software as it uses only a handful of measurements which do not produce accurate results for this purpose (yet), while Joelle's system includes more than 100 analyzable facial traits and features — more than 20 for the ears alone.
In 1992, Joelle authored a short booklet, now out of print, titled Anthropometry and the Human Face in Photographs. In 2013, she released a greatly expanded version titled Face to Face: Analysis and Comparison of Facial Features to Authenticate the Identities of People In Photographs.
Joelle has a Bachelor's Degree in Language Arts (a double major in English and Linguistics) and is the author of many books and articles. She provides her services throughout the United States and internationally. Her clients include businesses, family historians, genealogists, historical societies, auctioneers, appraisers, libraries, museums, university archives, private investigators, attorneys, publishers, film-makers, and television documentary producers.