He earned a BFA in 1945 from Trinity College at the University of Toronto, Canada, and an MFA in 1947 from the State University of Iowa, Iowa City. He also undertook postgraduate studies at the University of New York (Institute of Fine Arts) and Columbia University, New York City, in 1947-48.
The self-employed photographer's photos have appeared in such publications as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Time.
Recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1953, Beny won a Canadian Council Visual Arts Award in 1968, and in that year his book Japan in Colour was selected as "the world's finest book".
In 1972 he received an LLD from the University of Lethbridge.
In 1973 he was named a life member of the Royal Canadian Academy.