It all started when he was introduced to the Film Community in his native Amsterdam, The Netherlands by accident. After graduating from Nederlandse Televisie & Film Academie he worked in the vast Television Documentary market in Europe traveling all over the globe shooting films for the Dutch, French and British Television. David later worked as a Camera Operator under the legendary French Cameramen Henri Alekan [La Belle et La Bete by Jean Cocteau, Wings of Desire by Wim Wenders] and Sacha Vierny [L'Annee Derniere a Marienbad by Alain Renais, The Cook, His Wife & Her Lover by Peter Greenaway].
Claessen started working as a Feature Film Director of Photography when he received the opportunity to photograph the French Film Haute Mer for the Argentinean director Eduardo Cozarinsky. Since settling in the USA he photographed The Telephone [Whoopi Goldberg], Getting In [Matthew Perry, Callista Flockhart] for Doug Liman [Swingers, The Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith]. An Evil Town directed by Richard Sears won Best Short Film at the Film Festival of Cannes, France. A few years later he won the Kodak Achievement Award for Best Cinematography for his work on Marc Chiat's Every Dog Has It's Day. While primarily focused on commercials [Mercedes, Heineken, Nike, Cadillac] & Music Videos [Britney Spears, Snoop Dogg, Back Sreet Boys, Aaliyah, Brandy, Monica, BoyzIIMen, Jay Z] in the past decades he has completed several films with director Julie Dash [Daughters of the Dust] including The Rosa Parks Story for which she was nominated by the DGA for best direction. With Tyler Perry's Diary Of A Mad Black Woman he scored his first # 1 Box Office Hit. Make It Happen reunited David with director Darren Grant [Diary Of A Mad Black Woman]. Later Bring it On: Fight to the Finish reunited him with Bille Woodruff [Honey]. Recently he photographed the First Season of Prentice Penny's series The Hustle and Back to School Mom for Christopher Erskin.
Represented in the USA by APA - Michael Kirschner and in Europe by The Birds Management - Yvonne Graven. David makes his home in New York, NY.