The Forensic Science Program at Loyola aims to introduce students to a broad range of forensic-related topics and prepare them for careers in a variety of settings. We host a Forensic Expert Seminar Series to expand student exposure beyond coursework. Speakers are experts in their respective forensic disciplines and related fields. Topics range from forensic research to case studies, from expert witness testimony to opioid death and other current events. See our archived seminars page for previous speakers and topics.
We enthusiastically invite interested students, faculty and staff to join us for these events.
Please email Wendy Gruhl for additional information.
Thursday, Nov 17, 2022 at 5:30pm
Technical Surveillance Specialist
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
Forensic Photography in the Digital Age
The future of Forensic Photography is here, having quickly adapted to the digital age from the long-gone era of 35mm, 2 ¼ x 2 ¼, and 4x5 film! Many of the wet solutions of mixing chemicals and using a darkroom to create lasting images have all since disappeared in the current life that we lead. While we now enjoy the ability to instantly review and critique our digital photos, this ability was a convenience that we didn’t always enjoy! Film photographs had to be perfect the first time out. Thankfully, while we often had a darkroom nearby, the processes involved in the development and printing of film photographs took a significant amount of time.
For example, while photographing crime scenes or autopsies, there was no room for errors of exposure or the picture not being in focus. The testing of film cameras and flash units needed to precise with those technical details. However, the advent of digital photography has relieved a lot of those pressures and offer many advantages over traditional film. My career in the law enforcement field has spanned across 37 years, changes all of which have been and continue to be evolving in a positive way. My presentation will highlight a couple of interesting high-profile homicide investigations in which I was involved and how Forensic Photography and Imaging played a critical role in the outcome. I will also present briefly the trajectory of my career, which began at a young age and evolved into career focused in the field of forensic photography.
Todd Reeves started his photography adventure at the Junior High School in 1979 as a wannabe yearbook photographer. He finally made it as a yearbook photographer in 1980 at North Miami Beach High School in North Miami Beach, Florida. He then ended up as a Medical Photographer at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Florida, and had the opportunity to work as a Forensic Photographer in the Crime Laboratory at the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD). In 1987, Mr. Reeves had the honor of assisting with the visits of President Ronald Regan and Pope John Paul II visits to Miami. His career continued to blossom as he became the Supervisor of Forensic Photography in the Forensic Imaging Bureau at the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Department in Miami, Florida in 1988. He was specifically assigned to assist with the investigations of the Cunanan/Versace homicide on Miami Beach and the ValuJet Crash in the Everglades. This unit was also involved with providing services to the South Florida High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), and they regularly assisted with undercover operations. This was an interesting change from photographing autopsies and crime scenes, and the unit expanded to also include electronic surveillance, in addition to photographing narcotics and cash proceeds seizures at both the Miami International Airport and Seaport. With a photographic expertise, Mr. Reeves successfully led countless operations in electronic surveillance in support of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. That expertise would eventually lead to his current position within the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), where he has served in both Seattle and Chicago for over two decades.
*Updated 05 Nov 2022