A system is proposed that simultaneously captures the three- dimensional shape of a face and its surface texture. Such a three-dimensional model allows us to compare surveillance images of an offender irrespective of the pose of the offender's head. Also a single model for face albedo has been elaborated and its use will be demonstrated for viewing under different lighting conditions. The 3D acquisition system is based on an active technique, i.e. special illumination, but in contrast to traditional active sensing does not require scanning or sequential projection of multiple patterns. As a consequence, 3D photographs can be taken from a single image, and thus also when suspects do not collaborate.