We had a chat with multi-talented photographer and creative director, Laurence Moorcroft. We spoke of his movement, ‘While We Are Young’ which is a coming-of-age story. We spoke also of his dreams, ambitions and how he intends to make his mark in the industry.

Tell us about yourself?

I am Laurence Moorcroft, a photographer and creative director. I am full-time second-year MSc and a part-time business management student. I am one of the directors for the Bliss Bambi Foundation which is an NGO that works to help children. I pride myself in being a hard worker and being goal driven.

Where does your passion for photography come from?

When I was growing up, my parents had a ton of albums filled with pictures of their lives and memories. I just loved the ability to capture moments and preserve memories, it really appealed to me so much that I started taking pictures of my family and friends to preserve the memories. My mom bought so many magazines and I would scroll through them to look at the ad campaigns that were featured in those various publications. They were so clean, crisp and of high quality and that appealed to me. I wanted to be involved in that, in some way, to create visuals and translate a certain narrative. Just to be creative, and to make people look and feel good.

Who influences your photography style? 

I would definitely say that my style is influenced by what I like; whether it be music, pop culture or the mood or theme I’m trying to depict. I love doing portraiture, fashion and lifestyle because it’s about people. There is a narrative, its telling a story.

What is While We Are Young? 

While We Are Young is my first body of work and honestly it’s like an “on the job training” experiment. It’s a collection of photographs that tells a story about this specific time in our lives. It’s my art. I did not study art or know how the industry works but Thank God I have a few people that I can call on for some advice when needed. It’s actually a real blessing because its teaching me what to do for my next body of work.

How did the concept of WWAY come about? 

You know, before I even knew that I will make the experience into a body of work, one of my goals in photography was to have a body of work that could hang in galleries and be bought by people who understands and appreciates the value of art. Last year, my friend Tracy suggested that we (a group of friends) go to Margate after the exams.  We made a pact, one; that we will have the best time and two; that we will take the best photographs on the trip.

When I decided to make the experience into a body of work, I knew I wanted to tell the story of being young, carefree and just living life. I listened to so many songs that also translate the message; songs like Khalid’s Young Dumb and Broke, Chloe and Halle’s Grown-ish but Taylor Swift’s 22 really stood out because it is such a vibe with positive pure energy, and it explains it all so well. I titled it While We Are Young because I feel that we have to work, grind and achieve… while we are young. We basically set the direction of our lives while we are having fun and figuring it all out.

What’s so funny is that like a month or so later I saw “Jhene Aiko – While We Are Young” on YouTube and after I watched it for the first time I knew it must be a sign. The song told the story but it also had a sense of nostalgia to it, and I decided to use the back track of the song to give the artist statement of the body with a montage.

What are you trying to achieve with WWAY? 

It’s a story about emergence, taking responsibility for yourself and coming into your own but it’s also really nostalgic because I believe you have to reflect where you have been to know where you are going. My intention with While We Are Young, as with anything I do, is to teach, empower and inspire people. It’s about realizing the power we all have to reach our goals and being responsible for the energy we put into the universe.

There is a lot of people who don’t know that art is actually an asset/investment.

In Story of OJ Jay Z raps about it:

“I bought some artwork for one million

Two years later, that shit worth two million

Few years later, that shit worth eight million

So similar to property, art is also an asset/investment and a means to assist with the journey to financial freedom.

Did you always know that this is what you’ve wanted to do?

I did not. From a young age I knew I wanted to be involved in charities and donating money, having my own clothing line and just being creative but not photography. My parents and my grandma wanted me to do a course after our 2013 family vacation. I agreed to it. As time went, I really found my passion and I just wanted to learn as much as possible about it. I know I have so much to learn still but I really enjoy the process. I am truly driven to improve on my skills, to become the best photographer, to be respected, to be successful and have a remarkable impact in people’s lives and my own, on all levels. Having longevity. I’m forever in awe of how the universe works!

How have people received WWAY and has it been received the way you wanted it to be?

The reception so far has really been positive. Everyone loves the message because it is empowering and inspiring, as it was intended. In terms of sales and exhibitions, for the 2 months since it’s been released it has been part of a couple of group shows and sold a few. It’s a start, and I’m learning and improving.

Do you have any current project you’re working on or is WWAY you’re main focus right now? 

My studies are my main focus right now. I am in the final stages of my MSc project. With Bliss Bambi Foundation, we are in the process of working on fundraising initiatives and we have approached a certain corporate company to sponsor a workshop to educate a group of high school on a specific topic. Fingers crossed that we will get the greenlight pretty soon. Also just creating content to build and improve upon my photography portfolio. So While We Are Young is one of my focal points.

How do you want people to receive WWAY? 

You know being young is a state of mind. Look at Pharell Williams, Jennifer Lopez and Unathi; they all have that youthful energy. I want people to use and apply the message to their own life and situation, find the parts they identify with and always be in touch with that youthful spirit, and enjoy life at every age. And obviously buy some artwork (laughs).

What’s in the future for you and you’re movement?

For now, basically completing my studies, learning as much about business as I can, getting into the industry, growing BBF to a position where it can reach and empower as many children as possible. What I really want to do is launch my own prominent clothing/lifestyle brand. I mean that’s been the dream since way back and its coming. So it’s just working hard, balancing it all and using the platform I have in a positive and impactful manner. Being open and thankful for every step of the journey.

There’s so many people I want to thank, people who has helped me. I want to thank:

  1. Christina Naurattel for curating While We Are Young and all of the advice and assistance.
  2. My group of friends that shared the experience and made it possible, especially Tracy (and her parents for accommodating us).
  3. Swanker and Chase Footwear for keeping me fresh & KellyNadeen for assisting with the shoot.
  4. My family and other friends, love and appreciate you all so much.
  5. And each and every person that has contributed in anyway, I am truly thankful!

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