Just As I Am

A little after I moved to Calgary almost 20 years ago, I met a young up and coming country musician named Paul Brandt. I was hired by his people in Nashville to photograph one of his concerts up here, so that they could use the photos as promo material. I met Paul briefly at sound check, and he welcomed me to the show and crew. It was a great show he put on to a packed house and after his third or fourth song I knew he would be on the scene for a long time, I knew, he would be a star.

After that, Paul moved off to Nashville, where you go to make it in the country music world. He has made a lot of really great music since then, major hits here and in the U.S. But after many years in Nashville he has moved back to Calgary to run his own music gig. He, like so many other music artists have been effected by the internet, music sharing, downloading; the business is way tougher I hear from my many friends in the music business. I of course feel their pain, as photography has been effected much the same way. Practically free photos on so called “stock” web site, where photographers see none of the profit and the owners get richer everyday off the backs of people desperate to leave their day jobs as accountants or engineers hoping to see their name in lights under one of their published pictures.

But this past summer, Paul and I got to reconnect as I photographed him for Canadian Cowboy Magazine. It was a wonderful shoot and we got along grand, so well that he asked if I would be interested in doing some work for him. I jumped at the change as Paul is a pure professional when it comes to how he handles himself. The great artist he is, he treats you the very same with respect for what you do. He appreciates what you as a photographer will bring to the table and you end up working as a team when you work with him. Really, he is a photographers dream to work with.

So we spent a day shooting some new promo material for him and every once and awhile you get lucky and the photo gods give you a special moment. We were working away after a short prairie thundershower hit the area and the skies parted, for a few moments everything comes together. Out of it we got this photo.

Country music star, Paul Brandt. Photographed on the Canon 5D MK III © Todd Korol

It was one of those moments when you look at the back of your camera and know this will be a cool photo. Both he and I knew we had something special. He liked it so much it’s on the cover of his new album coming out today, “Just As I Am.” It’s a country bluegrass gospel collection of a lot of classic favorites.

There have been few people I have enjoyed working more than with Paul Brandt. What a gentleman to work with, a great singer, and friend. Thanks for letting me be part of this.


4 thoughts on “Just As I Am”

  1. Paul Brandt, I just want you to know you are AMAZING. My husband and I love you and your music. We had the pleasure of meeting you in Milk River for the Small Town Heros performance. You give back so much to the communities and your fans. There are many singers that should take a page from your book. Keep up the awesome work and looking forward to hearing your new album! ❤

  2. I love the image Todd!! It captures everything about Paul, and, his beloved Alberta. Thank you for the image, your expertise and the explanation x

  3. That picture is wonderful. Even heaven welcomes what Paul is giving. I love everything about what Paul Brandt stands for. To me he represents more then just music. I have enjoyed his music since that first time at Stampede where he stole my heart with his song. Over the years, Paul has opened my eyes to so much more; the name Paul Brandt means Faith and Family to me. In this day and age, it is nice to see an Icon such as Paul Brandt model Faith and Family. Something that has gone by the way side in this fast food world we are in. Everyone wants everything so quickly that rarely do we stop to smell the roses in front of us or appreciate those around us. Paul’s music slows me down and makes me take a closer look at the important things in life, the people I love, and my God – to which I owe everything to and that all is possible through. Everything else comes and goes but my faith and family remain. Thank You Paul for being an inspiration, and a model that my children and grandchildren can look up to. You really are one of Canada’s/world’s greatest blessing.

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