Black & White Actor Portraits

Fotoliterate
produces fresh,
original imagery
tailored to your
company’s
marketing needs.

What is Foto
literate?

Fotoliterate is a production company formed by Rob Lewine to produce fresh, original imagery tailored to your company’s marketing needs, reducing your reliance on generic stock photography.

Lewine has been a top photographer for more than 30 years. He’s shot assignments for all the clients listed below and is also one of the most successful producers of lifestyle imagery in the world. With Fotoliterate, his aim is to enhance your visual communications by creating, to your specifications, elegant and authentic lifestyle images – visually literate, clear in their messaging. Images your company can use exclusively and won’t be seen anywhere else.

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Lifestyle image
Business Images

Why use Foto
literate?

Today hundreds of millions of stock photos of uneven quality can be found online, available for modest fees. There’s good work there, if you have the time (and the will) to dig through vast collections for pictures that meet your critical needs. But if you represent a big company, your brand is everything. Does it make sense to support it with universally available imagery? Images that can be used by your competitors, by any other company — in fact by anyone at all?

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Six spectacular
Reasons
to Have
Fotoliterate
in Your Life.

Our top-drawer lifestyle imagery has been licensed…

…by global brands thousands of times for more than 20 years.

We hire only the most gifted actors and models…

…from young kids to seniors, and have decades of experience bringing out the best in them.

Our operation is based in Los Angeles…

…home to the deepest and most diverse pool of on-camera talent on the planet. Every ethnicity is represented. We hold full-scale casting sessions for every shoot.

We have a standing set designed specifically…

…for photographing lifestyle. The room and its light source are one and the same. A bank of strobe lights secured to the back of the set faces outward to our studio walls; soft, natural-looking “daylight” bounces back into the shooting area. Fotoliterate didn’t invent this approach, but we’ve perfected it, and it works beautifully. Notwithstanding, if you prefer to shoot on location, we’re happy to oblige.

In our view, too much stock photography looks staged…

…Unconvincing images get licensed all the time; as a result, consumers may have become de-sensitized to artifice. This can alienate your target audience – consciously or otherwise – and undermine your message. At Fotoliterate, authenticity is a key element of our brand.

It’s been said that searching online for the image…

…conceived in your mind’s eye generally ends in failure. Your vision is unique; how often does viewing just one more page of results, of the thousands offered up, yield the image you seek? Fotoliterate eliminates the need for time-consuming searches that end in compromise. We shoot to your exact specifications.

BONUS REASON! We offer an option NO stock photo…

…can provide – product placement! It’s your shoot: tell us what you want featured, and it’s done.

BONUS REASON #2! Fotoliterate also offers…

…consultation services. In the film-based era, stock agencies routinely performed searches for clients. These days self-service is the default, which may not yield the best results. If you don’t need new production at the moment, we can advise on visual strategy, and also can research and compile a collection of the best stock pictures to meet your current objectives. We’re image experts. Let us help.
Business Images

Has Google’s Panda
algorithm made
stock photography
obsolete?

The Fotoliterate team has produced highly successful stock shoots for 20 years. But times have changed; we don’t shoot stock any more. These days stock photos can cause your Google rank to drop.

As SEO consultant Michael Cottam explains, Google now uses an algorithm that identifies images common to multiple websites — and penalizes these sites with lower rankings.

“Everyone prefers images to text.”

“If you’ve got great, original images, that’s great content to show the user. If you’ve got the same photos that another hundred websites have, then not so much.”

“Google reverse image search is really good. To think that Panda isn’t using it to decide whether you have original images is crazy. Don’t believe that just because you renamed a file or cropped it or re-sized it a little, you’ve fooled Google into thinking you now have an original image. You do not, and Google knows it.”

“How do you win? Go big. Be original.”

From MOZ: Real-World Panda Optimization – Whiteboard Friday

MichaelCottam.com

Fotoliterate
vs. Stock:
Additional Thoughts

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Scrolling through thousands and thousands of stock photos for a usable image is often disappointing; assembling a coherent set can be heartbreaking. Pictures from different photographers – using different models, different locations, different styling, and different approaches to lighting – can make for a visual mess. You deserve better.

Any image you find online, unless you’re the first user (and buy out the rights), can or will be used by others, including your competitors. If you haven’t gotten to it first, it’s already been licensed by others. Is this an effective use of visual assets, or a prudent use of your budget?