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Meet Malibu Commercial Photographer: Dave Teel

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dave Teel.

Dave, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I graduated 1986 Western Michigan University, then moved to Atlanta, then LA to pursue a photography career in 1989. I assisted Scott Morgan, Inc. from 1989-1993 and many others as a freelance assistant and shot my first Annual Report in 1993 and opened Dave Teel Photography. I started shooting Fashion in 1995.

Clients include: Ugg Australia, Rozae Nichols, Toyota, Lexus, IBM, among many others.

Has it been a smooth road?
Never smooth, always fun and adventurous trying to reinvent myself. My first wife died of cancer in 2001 and took time to raise my two kids. That was a very dark time in my life and my client relationships suffered. I remarried on 2006 and have 5 kids total. After moving to Malibu in 2007 and living in the mountains, I’ve rediscovered shooting for myself and have had a lot of success selling art to hotels, companies, and individuals.

What role has luck had in your life and career?
I’ve never really believed in luck or fate… In this business, it’s making the right connections and friends and sticking with them. I spend a lot of time outside the studio with friends in my industry, surfing, cycling or checking out the music scene. Never take people or strangers for granted… be real with everyone, because that total stranger could land you your next gig!

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Being open and friendly! Nobody wants to deal with a prima donna! Also, being willing to listen to your client and try different things.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I like LA because it’s the west coast’s melting pot. There is so much diversity here. East coast people think of it as Lala land, but I think it is the place to be. The climate’s not bad for photographer either!


  • Standard day rates which vary greatly depending on usage and difficulty – no hourly rates

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Phone: 310 903-3993
  • Email:
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