We present a rigorous procedure for evaluating the photoelastic coefficients of a layered medium where the periodicity is smaller than the wavelengths of all optical and acoustic fields. Analytical expressions are given for the coefficients of a composite material comprising thin layers of optically isotropic materials. These coefficients include artificial contributions that are unique to structured media and arise from the optical and mechanical contrast between the constituents. Using numerical examples, we demonstrate that the acousto-optic properties of layered structures can be enhanced beyond those of the constituent materials. Furthermore, we show that the acousto-optic response can be tuned as desired.