Born in Northern New Jersey, David McGough spent much of his childhood and teenage years across the river in New York City. His freshman year of college was spent at the prestigious Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD) in Columbus, Ohio. It was here that David received his first photographic assignment, covering a Dan Folgelberg concert at Ohio State University for a local newspaper. After his freshman year, David moved back to New York City and finished his education at Pratt Institute where he studied art and photography at Pratt Institute, graduating in 1980. During his years at Pratt he documented the bourgeoning punk rock scene in lower Manhattan, photographing The New York Dolls, Ramones, Talking Heads, Blondie, Patti Smith, Dead Boys, Lou Reed and others at downtown clubs such as CBGB and Max's Kansas City. He became staff photographer for Rock Magazine as well as contributor to Andy Warhol's Interview, New York Rocker, and Punk Magazine. Merging his love for photography and Rock and Roll, David was quickly making a name for himself on the New York scene.
From 1977 to 1980 McGough managed and co-produced The Features, a punk band originally from Pittsburgh that moved to New York and made a splash on the downtown scene. None other than Mick Jagger declared The Features "his favorite punk band in New York", "They have the energy of the early Stones".
In 1980, McGough started DMI Photo (David McGough Inc) and quickly became one of New York's most important photojournalists. Hired by The New York Post, David covered the daily celebrity scene and garnered over 100 page one photographs. If there was an important event in the city, you could be certain that McGough was there recording it for the Post's almost 1 million daily readers. His association with The Post lasted more than 25 years. During that time, David trained a large staff of photographers that covered the celebrity world in New York, as well as Los Angeles, Miami, and Washington, DC. David's photographs have appeared inside and on the cover of virtually every major publication in the world including: Life, Vanity Fair, New York Magazine, People, Esquire, Us, Paris Match, Rolling Stone, Time, Newsweek as well as in books, television, and film.
DMI photographers began to work for the major record companies, as well as film studios, public relation firms, as well as the stars themselves. McGough, and DMI became synonymous with 'House Photographer' and helped define the position that is now used at every major event in the industry. Over the years, DMI worked, and at times traveled with: Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson, Woody Allen, Andy Warhol, Brooke Shields, Donald Trump, Andre Agassi, Mary Tyler Moore, Bill Cosby, David Bowie, Van Halen, Loretta Lynn, Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, and many others as well as The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Victoria's Secret, and AMFAR. In 1992, McGough acted as consultant to Canadian director, Joseph Blasioli for his award winning documentary film: Blast 'Em.
DMI worked for Planet Hollywood and it's owners: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, and Sylvester Stallone from the restaurant chain's inception and traveled around the world opening over 37 locations.
McGough and his mentor, Andy Warhol had a close relationship for over 10 years. Before his death in 1987, Warhol declared McGough, "The Greatest"!
David's classic black and white photograph's are featured in the Adam Sandler, Universal Pictures film, Funny People. Directed by Judd Apatow (Superbad, Pineapple Express, 40 Year Old Virgin), the film was released July 2009.
In July, 2009, David participated in a documentary film on the life of Paparazzi legend, Ron Galella. David and Ron worked together as a team in the early 80's in New York and Los Angeles. The film, Smash His Camera was directed by Academy Award winning director and producer, Leon Gast (who won Best Documentary Feature in 1996 for his film When We Were Kings) will premiere at the 2010 Sundance film festival. In January, David and Ron will work together once again on Ron's latest book, Rock and Roll.
Though internationally famous as a photographer, recently McGough has directed his energies to creating painting, and original mixed medium art. In November 2009, an exhibit of David's photograph's opened at The Sarasota Arts Center in Sarasota, Florida, and in March, 2010 David's paintings will be exhibited in a show titled Post Pop at the Palmetto Arts Center in Palmetto, Florida. David has been on the creative Board of Directors for The Sarasota Film Festival since 1999, and has helped the festival to grow to become one of the ten most important film festivals in the U.S.
On February 5, 2011 David was guest speaker at a forum on Communications Law at the 16th annual conference of the American Bar Association. The subject was "Reporting on Celebrities, Stalkers vs The Stalked". Among those on the panel were actress Lorna Luft, entertainment attorney Lynda Goldman, and Tom Newton of The Newspapers Association. The topics ranged from the death of Princess Diana, to California's new anti-Paparazzi laws, as well as privacy protection, and voyeurism protection.
In December 2010, David and his business partner Barry Skolnick purchased rock photographer Chuck Pulin's photo collection. To view these images, please visit
In February 2012, an exhibit of David's photographs was held at PAR LA in West Hollywood, Ca.
On May 1, 2018 David will release his first book titled Fame, showcasing beautifully reproduced photographs, and the stories behind the pictures.
David has been the subject of feature articles in GQ, Cosmopolitan, USA Today, The New York Post, Associated Press, New York Times, American Photo, as well as National Public Radio, Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, and E Entertainment.