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October 11, 2007

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?

Hollywood.tv ...... 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 !


Posted by Will Carleton
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October 05, 2007

PAN 60 second interview - Jens Wikholm - Popstar Pictures


Popstar Pictures is the exclusive online photo library featuring only the work of Jens Wikholm.
Popstar Pictures offers photos of the highest caliber from high production studio imagery to exotic location images featuring celebrities and models from all areas of the entertainment industry, ranging from Film & TV to Music, Glamour and Fashion.

What age did you leave school?
16: I wanted to learn about life through experience rather than from the school bench

Where do you live?
Belsize Park, I love it up there!

How did you get into the photo business?
I've always had an eye for art, graphics and design and got introduced to photography through my design work when i was approached to do website for models. It was a natural step for me to simply pick up a camera and go from there.

What were you doing before that?
I've never really worked in my life as I've always made sure my hobby is my work. I started out as a rock musician and ended up a designer, which in turn led to my current "hobby"!

Studio or Location? (which do you prefer)
I like the control of the studio and love the freedom of location, so I'm not really fussed... though nothing beats taking photos on a gorgeous, sunny beach!

Canon or Nikon?
Hasselblad ; ) Canon's rock though, I've had a D1S and its lasted through rain, sand, wind, you name it. The Hasselblad is a bit temperamental and likes breaking down, great lenses on the hass though...

How many staff run Popstar?
8, including myself, and 2 freelance.

Who are you shooting this week?
Sarah Jayne Dunn, she's a lovely girl, making her break into Hollywood after years in Hollyoaks. We have 3 platinum blondes on Friday for our newly relaunched model directory www.popstargirls.co.uk and a Car Cruise shoot this evening with Ursula Mayes from Hot Import Nights in US. Cars are a big thing over there!

Describe a midweek morning?
Roll out of bed and come in to work, have a coffee and speak with the team about future plans, of which there are so many: expansion to LA, developing our model agency FACES to name but a few. We also have this very exciting Royalty Free version of Popstar Pictures which we recently launched for all our New Media and Mobile Distribution clients. The real work is always in the afternoons when we are shooting and speaking to our clients.

Which photo library or photo agency web site has recently caught your eye?
I have to say that what we are doing is quite unique to everyone else technology and backend-wise. We can be out on a shoot in Miami and get our picture requests via SMS and activate sales from our BlackBerry's, so its all singing and dancing and improving by the day! Did i mention, we have open books, so all our clients can see transactions online and in realtime. I think trust is the biggest problem for agencies sometimes so we try to make everything user friendly, not only for our customers but most importantly for our subjects.

Which websites do you visit daily other that Popstar and Photo Archive News?
Facebook and Myspace: we really use these two new mediums to our advantage. I encourage my staff to go on there and network instead of banning it from the workplace.

Which magazines do you read regularly?
Honestly? I don't really have time to read magazines but i try and keep up to date with what the competition are doing photography-wise.

What are you doing when you are not shooting?
Spend time with my family or out on the scene.

Favorite food?
Home cooked!

Cinima or pub?

Ideal Friday night?
Go to the gym after work, have a huge dinner and pass out in front of telly.

Ideal holiday destination?
Somewhere hot and away from tourists.

What's next for Popstar?
Opening the LA studio, more celebrity, music and high-fashion work, the expansion of FACES model agency... the list goes on!

Lastly what advice would you give to any new picture library or photo agency?
Think out of the box, be creative and make damn sure you get a model release ; )


Posted by Will Carleton
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