'Angelina stood perfectly still, covered in bees for 18 minutes without a sting,' says photographer who shot a picture of Angelina Jolie for World Bee Day
Actress Angelina Jolie, who is well-known for her philanthropy, took part in a photoshoot recently for National Geographic to extend her support for bee conservation on World Bee Day that was celebrated on May 20, earlier this week.
The manner of the photoshoot, however, came as a surprise to fans, since Angelina had to sit with bees covering her torso, neck and face for almost 18 minutes.
National Geographic photographer Dan Winters, who is also a beekeeper, helped with the photoshoot and explained how they went about it. He was quoted as saying, “I’m a beekeeper, and when I was given the assignment to work with Angelina, my main concern was safety. Shooting during the pandemic, with a full crew and live bees, made the execution complex. And I knew the only way to ensure we achieved the desired effect for the photo was to use the same technique that Richard Avedon used 40 years ago to create his iconic beekeeper portrait.”
Dan said, “Everyone on set, except Angelina, had to be in a protective suit. It had to be quiet and fairly dark to keep the bees calm. I applied the pheromone in the places on her body where I wanted bees to congregate. The bees are attracted to the pheromone, but it also encourages them not to swarm. We also placed a large number of bees on a board that rested in front of her waist. Angelina stood perfectly still, covered in bees for 18 minutes without a sting.”
Calling the shoot an awe-inspiring event, Dan said, “Being around bees is always an experience that leaves me in awe. I think this shoot was also an awe-inspiring event for all who were present—and our offering for World Bee Day has its own roots in photographic history.”
Speaking about her experience with the bees, Angelina said, “With so much we are worried about around the world, [bee conservation] is one issue that we can manage. We can certainly all step in and do our part.”
Angelina Jolie is currently working with UNESCO and Guerlain on an initiative called ‘Women for Bees’, which aims to build 2,500 beehives and restock 125 million bees by 2025. The venture will also train and support 50 women beekeepers.
According to National Geographic, Angelina Jolie was named the “godmother” for this five-year program.
Angelina was last seen in Those Who Wish Me Dead. She will next be seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Eternals.