Angelina Jolie teamed up with National Geographic on May 20 to celebrate World Bee Day, and the results were breathtaking. The actress, who is known for her philanthropy, wanted to use an evocative image to raise awareness and send the right message. Jolie was covered in bees in the picture and video posted.
Jolie can be seen calmly sitting against a black backdrop, staring straight at the camera in a white, off-shoulder Gabriela Hearst dress.
According to reports in the press, photographer and beekeeper Dan Winters said that special arrangements were made to keep the bees calm and prevent them from swarming and stinging Angelina and that the shoot was done with care.’I took the help of my friend and a master beekeeper, Conrad Boufford, to make this plan come true. Dan explained.
In a long post on National Geographic’s social media, it was also reported that the actor has a long history with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and that he is now collaborating with “UNESCO and Guerlain on a Women for Bees project,” with the aim of “building 2,500 beehives and restocking 125 million bees by 2025—while educating and helping 50 women beekeepers.”
“To promote the initiative for World Bee Day, in collaboration with @natgeo, Angelina wanted to do a portrait covered in bees. I’m a beekeeper, and when I was given the assignment to work with Angelina, my main concern was safety,” Dan Winters shared.
Adding, “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. I hired my friend Konrad Bouffard, a master beekeeper, to help. He contacted the entomologist who formulated a special pheromone (known as queen mandibular pheromone, or QMP) for Avedon and worked with him to capture the image of beekeeper Ronald Fisher, which appeared in his book “The American West.” The entomologist offered to let us use the actual pheromone from the Avedon shoot. We used Italian bees, kept calm throughout our shoot by Konrad. 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.”
Popular photographer Dan Winters shot the photo, claiming that the only way to get the desired results was to “use the same technique that Avedon used 40 years ago to make his iconic portrait “The Beekeeper.”