This week, we’d like to introduce you to Paloma Galzi – a forensic imaging specialist with expertise in 2D and 3D facial reconstructions, age progressions of missing people, composite sketches and beyond.
Here, she shares her incredible experiences and stories. Read on to find her top tips for pursuing a career in forensic facial analysis
Describe yourself in one sentence.
I would describe myself as tenacious, because in this kind of work you need to be, and also passionate about it, with a fascination for skulls.
Describe your current work and research.
I work as a Forensic Imaging Specialist on diverse cases of missing and/or deceased people. My works involves doing 2D and 3D facial reconstructions, composite sketches, facial comparison analysis, post mortem imaging and age progressions for Law Enforcement and private Forensic Agencies.
What inspired you to join this field?
I was finishing up my Bachelors degree in San Francisco in Illustration, and thinking about what to do next, when I came across a composite sketch online. That just caught my eye and my full attention, and so I started doing some research on this kind of work. From that point, I went on to do a Masters degree and became a certified forensic artist.
Describe your education and career trajectory to this point.
I was raised in France, and started studying arts in Lyon. I then transferred to California College of the Arts in San Francisco to finish my degree there, and moved to Scotland to get my Masters degree in Forensic Facial Imaging. Now based in London, I have set up my company in order to provide consultancy services to diverse agencies.
Tell us a story of something interesting you’ve worked on.
There was this case I worked on a while ago, about someone who had been killed and buried in cement. Years later, their remains were discovered, and the face of that person made a print in the cement. Law enforcement made a cast out of this print but it didn’t come out as well as they would have thought, so asked me to clean it up and fix it on the 3D software I use. Halfway through, one of the agents started to recognize the deceased…They are now DNA testing and hoping for a match.
What tips can you provide for people wishing to pursue a career in your field?
It is a very interesting growing field but not an easy one to take your place amongst. If this is what you really want, keep at it, go and get it, even if people turn you down. Be patient and don’t give up, however many months or years it could take. Talk to people around you, make connections, and build yourself a reputation and a network.
Your turn: Do you have any questions for Paloma or our team? Leave them here.