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KC Montgomery Honored For Years of Service

Filed under: Featured,The Buzz |     

By: Brittany Bevis

During this year’s AQHA World Show, KC Montgomery was honored with a special award for his years of service during a presentation at center ring in Oklahoma City.

Known as one of the pre-eminent equine photographers of his time, KC has taken over 5 million equine images for 40,000 customers in all 50 states, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Mexico, France, Belgium, Austria, Australia, England, Israel, Holland, and Brazil. He has designed over 6,750 ads and created 127 magazine covers, including the first cover of The Equine Chronicle in the early 90s. A member of the Professional Photographers of America, KC is one of 29,000 members, less than 4% of which achieve a Master degree, which KC has done.

Some of the horses to be captured by KC’s lens during his 35 plus years in the industry include Radical Rodder, Zippos Pine Bar, Zips Chocolate Chip, Blazing Hot, Hot N Blazing, Kid Clu, RL Best of Sudden, Invitation Only, Certain Potential, Potential Investment, Huntin For Chocolate, Allocate Your Assets, Last Detail, and Luke at Me.

KC has always been an innovator in the industry and is responsible for a number of firsts.

  • He was the first to design ads outside of an equine publication in a non editorial fashion. It changed the way Quarter Horses are advertised and promoted.
  • He changed the way photographers shoot action shots by developing a lighting system that was hung in the World Show arena. This enabled photographers to take multiple shots of exhibitors in classes.
  • He designed the first Equine Chronicle magazine cover.
  • He was the first to shoot with a black backdrop for casual shots.
  • He took the first image of a Halter horse (Kid Clu) in action, as opposed to the traditional conformation shot.

KC and family during the awards presentation at the AQHA World Show.

A little known fact is that, back in the day, before the advent of digital photography, the post production of World Show images was very different than it is today. The images shot at the World Show would be put on an airplane every night and they would be sent to Columbus, Ohio for printing. The 8 x 10 images would arrive back in Oklahoma City the following morning. A crew member would drive to the airport to pick up the prints, and the images would be numbered and placed in large binders organized by class to be ready for people to purchase.

Over the years, KC has served as the official photographer for a number of horse shows.

  • AQHA Open/Amateur World Show Photographer -20 years (1998-2017)
  • AQHA Youth World Show Photographer – 20 years (1998-2017)
  • AQHA Select World Show Photographer -17 years (2000-2017)
  • AQHA Level 1 Novice Championship Photographer -6 years (2011-2016)
  • OQHA Redbud Spectacular Photographer 17 years (2001-2017)
  • AQHA Battle in the Saddle Photographer- 2 years
  • AQHA Region 8 Photographer- 2 years
  • APHA Open/Amateur World Show Photographer- 17 years
  • APHA Youth World Show Photographer- 17 years
  • Palomino World Championship Photographer- 7 years
  • European Championship Photographer -8 years
  • Holiday Circuit Photographer  – 8-9 years
  • 7 Day Run Photographer -8-9 years
  • Midwestern Quarter Horse Circuit Photographer-8-9 years
  • Oklahoma State Fair Horse Show Photographer -10 years

Following his retirement from being the official AQHA World Show photographer, KC still plans to do ranch shoots, ad design, and video production.

“He’s made a lasting impact on this industry, and he’s never one to discuss that or to brag. I very much admire that,” says his daughter, Ashley Montgomery.