The present invention is embodied in an apparatus, and related method, for detecting and recognizing an object in an image frame. The object may be, for example, a head having particular facial characteristics. The object detection process uses robust and computationally efficient techniques. The object identification and recognition process uses an image processing technique based on model graphs and bunch graphs that efficiently represent image features as jets. The jets are composed of wavelet transforms and are processed at nodes or landmark locations on an image corresponding to readily identifiable features. The system of the invention is particularly advantageous for recognizing a person over a wide variety of pose angles.