Who we are

We’re a photo agency and an integrated design studio — created in 2008 by photographer Claudio Maria Lerario — whose essence is a deep love for cultural and biological diversity in all its forms.

Managing most projects from start to finish, we specialize in creating publications, art editions and printed products that born out of the relationship between documentary photography, graphic arts, anthropology, and literature.

Our focus

Our work is people-centered, with a focus on stories that pay homage to the resilience, the quest for change, and the aspiration toward beauty that unite human beings across different places, beliefs, and cultures.

The core ethos behind everything we create and produce is that — in an age of increasing walls, borders, boundaries, and selfishness — each single image and each single word that re-discovers, evokes and affirms our common humanity is an act of defiance, necessary today more than ever.

The work

Photography and publishing: we work at diverse latitudes to produce reportages that revolve around the nature of humanity’s social, educational, and economic challenges.

Then, our designers — combining photography, graphic arts and typography — handle all of the necessary details to transform those reportages in the best publications (print, digital, online), art editions and printed products we possibly can.

Custom works: besides working on our own projects, we collaborate with a number of organizations from around the globe to envision new ideas that can be useful vehicles for driving awareness of cause-based initiatives.

Being a small team, we prioritize projects that reflect our world view and have the capability to convey a message that goes far beyond the impulse of merely trying to please the public or the clients.

Social projects and community programs

We invest a large part of the revenues — generated through the sale of our images, publications and prints — to actively sustain small communities living in underserved areas of the world.

We develop true partnerships with local organizations and — working side by side with the community’s members — we meet their communication needs by providing high-quality services that otherwise are not available or that they could never afford to pay for.

Partial clients list

Among others, we’ve produced essays and publications for Ricordi, Prada, Simrad, Medusa Films, Gucci, Unipol Group, Dolce & Gabbana, Mondadori, Ethiopian Airlines, Leo Burnett, Deutsche Bank, Mursia, Lufthansa, Condé Nast, Christiania Bank, EU, Greenpeace, UN, Unesco and two Royal Houses (England and Norway) as well as many NGOs, media companies, museums, and public institutions.

You can also find our published works — from mass produced publications to limited art editions — in small and big shops (like Ikea of Sweden), as well as in private collections, museums and art galleries, in more than 30 countries around the world.

The founder

Claudio Maria Lerario is an Italian-born photographer in activity since 1992. His career spans from journalism to editorial and advertising, with images published and used in all fields, from social reportages to film, television, marine sports and high fashion. In 2008 he left the area of the mainstream media and founded Lerario Photos | the full story

Since then, he focuses mainly on long-term, in-depth, collaborative portraiture projects that memorialize and celebrate the superstars of the everyday: the underserved, the socially ignored, the culturally overlooked, those who — trying to make the best of their and others’ lives — struggle to defend their human dignity and personal integrity, the two most powerful instruments with which to progress both on an individual and on a collective level.

Read the story behind Lerario Photos

Core team

Claudio’s work is supported by Elisa Amati (photo reporter), Loana Corraini (writer), Andrea Lerario (interactive projects), Mattia Lerario (project manager), Seblewongel Getachew (anthropologist), Ubaldo Samuelli (designer), and Matteo Sormani (exhibits and events).

This core team collaborates with a group of talented individuals coming from different countries and made up of photojournalists, writers, researchers, and explorers of all kinds.

Structure and organization

Legally speaking, Lerario Photos is a London-based, family-owned social enterprise managed by its board: Claudio Maria Lerario, Andrea Lerario and Mattia Lerario.

We are an independent and disintermediated mission-driven studio: no one owns us and there are no middle people between you and us. This independence allows us to break with conventional business models, to remain objective, to not compromise, and to focus our efforts and resources only on stories and ideas that touch our heart.

We have adopted a business model that allows us to sustain our social projects recognizing and pursuing new opportunities to serve that mission. As we are not a charity, we aim to compete in the market like any other small business and that we need to make the company commercially successful.

We do pursue a profit and we work to ensure an appropriate living standard to ourselves and to all our contributors. But we are not consumed by the motive of personal gain. We are passionate about using our capabilities for achieving explicit social results and this motivates us as much, if not more, than the challenge of running a profitable business.