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PAN Interview: Owen Beiny – Director of Paparazzi Operations – WENN Los Angeles

WENN is a unique, independent, global news network, headquartered in London with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas and other key entertainment cities around the world.
WENN is dedicated to providing the world’s media with up-to-the-minute entertainment news & photos.

Owen Beiny Director of Paparazzi Operations – WENN Los Angeles
What age did you leave school?
16 (it would have been sooner if the law allowed it)

Where do you live?
LA for 8 weeks then London for 1 week.

How did you get into the picture library business?
I worked for my father as a salesman for the WENN entertainment newswire service.

What were you doing before that?
Israeli Army.

How many staff at WENN LA?
Enough that you dont want to buy a round, but not enough to field a good
football team.

Describe your morning?
6am – woken up with issues in London
6.10 – 7am – emails in bed
7-8am – looking at every pap photo taken around the world by every agency
9am – Panic to get my team and I on the road
10am – on a job, breakfast in hand.

How many photographers and images are you handling in a single day?
Although I am ultimately responsible for WENN’s worldwide team of approx
400 photographers, on a daily basis I deal mainly with our fast growing LA team.
As a company WENN is producing and processing approx 200 sets/5,000
images each day.

Are you shooting video?
Yes but don’t tell our competitors.

Which celebrity is selling magazines at the moment?
Britney, Britney, Britney.

Which photo agency or picture library web site has recently caught
your eye? …… these guys are the new kid on the block but have
stormed in head first.

Which websites do you visit daily other that WENN and Photo Archive News?
All our so-called competitors and all the entertainment blogs plus Facebook.

Which newspapers and magazines do you read regularly?
All UK & US Celebrity magazines plus the British tabloids
Top Gear and GQ if I have time.

Have you ever photographed a celebrity?
Every single day !!!! I dont go to bed until I do.

What are you doing when you are not selling photos?
Taking them or drinking Vodka.

Do celebrities need the paparazzi?
On the way up they are desperate for the global exposure we can help
bring them but once they make it, some feel they can do without the

Has a celebrity ever rung the office?
Yes. Amy Winehouse is a regular.

Which celebrity is always happy to see a WENN photographer?
Jude Law.

Favorite food?

Cinema or pub?

Ideal Friday night?
one that ends up as Saturday morning.

Ideal holiday destination?
Hanging out of the 3rd floor window of Sandy Lanes, Barbados shooting
Michael Jackson and Britney spears playing in the water together.

What’s the future, stills or video?
Both. The video market will keep getting bigger but the stills market is
not shrinking.

Lastly what advice would you give to a photographer hitting the
celebrity scene for the first time?

Don’t ask…..just shoot !