Jonathan Klein runs Getty Images, a stock photo agency whose vast archive of still photography and illustrations is a mainstay of the creative class.

Why you should listen

Even if you're an infrequent (or less sporty) user of the World Wide Web, chances are the last time you logged on -- perhaps on the very last page you visited -- you've come across an image sourced from stock photo agency Getty Images. Photos and illustrations from Getty can be found everywhere, for just about every purpose you can imagine. It shouldn't surprise you that Getty began in the Internet age, leaving print-era agencies in the dust by using Internet and CD-ROM distribution since day one.

Jonathan Klein, Getty's co-founder (along with Mark Getty) and the current CEO, helped drive its success over the past 15 years. He led it during its aggressive archive acquisition campaign through the '90s and now in the 2000s, adding to its formidable collection of editorial photos, footage and music. But his business skill is only part of his story; to hear Klein talk, one is quick to catch his passionate enthusiasm for the power of images -- not only to document moments in our lives and in history, not just to sell products or turn over PR campaigns -- but to shift public opinion and, perhaps, make the world more just.

Klein serves on the board of the Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS and on the board of Real Networks (media software company and creator of the popular RealPlayer).

What others say

“Images have provoked reactions in people, and those reactions have caused change to happen.” — Jonathan Klein

Jonathan Klein’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Jonathan Klein

Photos that changed the world: Jonathan Klein on

April 13, 2010

Photographs do more than document history — they make it. At TED University, Jonathan Klein of Getty Images shows some of the most iconic, and talks about what happens when a generation sees an image so powerful it can’t look away — or back. (Recorded at TED2010, February 2010 in Long Beach, CA. Duration: 6:02) […]

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