Alphonse Bertillon, the chief of criminal identification for the Paris police department, developed the mug shot format and other photographic procedures used by police to register criminals. Although the images in this extraordinary album of forensic photographs were made by or under the direction of Bertillon, it was probably assembled by a private investigator or secretary who worked at the Paris prefecture.
One of Alphonse Bertillon's so-called 'God's-eye view' photographs of a Paris crime scene. He pioneered the technique, that involved mounting his camera on a very tall tripod above the body of a murder victim, to enable the police to capture the most comprehensive and accurate picture of a crime scene as possible. From 'Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime' exhibition at the Wellcome Collection