The Joy of Knowing a Real Life Princess

I met Keilee as a younger version of herself: a bright, cheerful, blond girl of just ten or eleven, brimming over with stories and enthusiastic sunshine.  Her mom, Karen, and I were both homeschool parents in the Huntsville, Alabama area, and our daughters were not only the same-ish age, they had many of the same interests:  bubbling creativity, exciting movies, fun music, vivid imaginations, climbing trees.  So we met in the park one afternoon, fed the ducks, chased the wind, and danced among wild mushrooms.  Friendship was firmly forged that day.

It wasn't until several years later that I stumbled across Keilee on Facebook -- and noticed she had grown up (not unlike my own daughters, but let's not talk about that).  Only now Keilee was more than merely grown -- she was as beautiful as she was brilliant, single-handedly running Magical Memories, her own thriving party princess business, crafting and designing everything her heart desired, and hosting her own growing YouTube channel, Bringing Smart Back -- all while acing high school level physics and faithfully serving folks at the local soup kitchen.

I won't lie:  I fan-girl'ed a little.

[ okay, a lot ]

Keilee was a real life princess, y'all.  I had gorgeous, photographic visions -- strong ones.  With our shared love of Disney and magic and wonder and play, it was clear we needed to meet again -- this time with my camera in hand.  I reached out to Karen and asked if Keilee might be up for modeling for me, and even though it was a year before we managed to make it happen (ensuing car troubles, scheduling conflicts, and cantankerous weather conditions plotted against us), we finally set up a time to meet.

And it.  was.  EPIC.

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Keilee wowed me in every way.  Working together that day, photographing her as Rapunzel, Elsa, and Merida, I found myself falling down a sort of rabbit hole of wonder and delight -- it was clear this young lady was destined for great things (heck, one of my photos of her even placed in the top ten of the 2017 Shoot and Share Contest!).  Thoroughly down-to-earth, warm and charming and genuinely kind, both she and her mom, Karen made the day supremely special.  It was a blessing just to spend time with them.

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That's the mark of a true princess -- and if anyone is a true princess, it's Keilee.

And her mom Karen is a Queen.

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Enjoy this speed edit video of the fine art creation process (below):

Edited in Adobe Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CC by Lauren Bee: located in Inverness, FL; serving Orlando, Tampa Bay area, and Central Florida; custom commissions available worldwide

Model + Styling: Princess Keilee  

SONG: "Master of the Feast" by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license ( Source: Artist:

Want to see more of Keilee?  She will appear as a The Little Mermaid herself, in my book "The Little Mermaid", a fine art collective and faithful re-telling of the classic fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson.