Photographer Cape Town - Derek Whitton Head shot

How I became a Cape Town Photographer

This is my story.

Derek Whitton | Photographer in Cape Town

You need someone that you can trust to deliver what is promised and trust begins with knowing someone, I want to share my story with you.

In 2006, I completed my high school career with the interest of studying an LLB law degree (or make it as a rock star… that never happened), I was the master of procrastination and left my application too late to make the cut.

I then had to get a job and found myself as an internal sales representative and an HVAC automation company. I worked my butt off there for eight months where I was presented with the opportunity to become my own boss.

Enthusiastic and uneducated I jumped at the chance. My best friend and I decided that we will be opening a retail clothing store around rock music which was my passion at the time. At that time, we ran our clothing store and a Pizzeria, we fought hard but lost the fight due to bad processes and poor understanding of business.

I then started working alongside another friend in his graphic design company, it went really well and our signs can still be seen around Johannesburg to this day.

During this time there was a catalog that was being compiled and designed, the images that were supplied at the time were just too low quality to put to print and they were asked to supply better images. They then asked us if we could take the photos…

We had no clue what we were doing but took the job on. The job allowed us to purchase a camera and we took the job by the horns. We struggled our butts off, but we produced.

Soon thereafter I met my now wife, Amori. Her mother was an avid hobbyist photographer and one day was showing me how to work her camera in a little more detail.

I was fascinated by what could be done and went home to try out my newly acquired skills on pretty much everything I could focus on. My mother in law then told me one day that she has signed me up for a portraiture course and I was incredibly excited to get going.

After completing the course I set out to photograph as many people as I could, I loved it.

I then got closer to photography and partnered into a photographic printing lab to immerse myself in the industry. Over the span of the next few years, my skills improved but I still struggled to make a living from photography.

I sat back and tried to figure out where I was going wrong. Then it hit me, I still do not know how to run a business. At that point, I hit the books hard and tried to cram as much business and marketing knowledge into my brain as I possibly could.

Slowly as my knowledge expanded so did my inquiry and booking rate.

Fast forward to 2017…

Amori and I had always flirted with the idea that we would someday end up in Cape Town, then one day she came home and said she had received a job offer … but it was in the Cape…

Emotions ran high but we knew that this was our chance and we would be silly not to take it. Three days later the contract was signed and plans began for the move down.

January 2018 saw the move happen.  Amori, my beautiful two children and I arrived safely and began to rebuild. This brings us to now. Where I am rebuilding my client bases and it has been a magnificent journey.


This is my story, thank you for allowing me to share it.


General Inquiries & Press:

Derek Whitton


Address: 26 Alef Cres, Sonstraal Heights, Cape Town