Laura Rainsford

Rankin. Cheka Kidogo (‘Laugh a little’).

Posted in Africa, Congo, Congolese, DRC, Kinshasa, Menelik Education, Oxfam, Photography, Portrait, Rankin by Laura Rainsford on January 13, 2010

Portrait and fashion photographer Rankin visited the DRC in 2008 to capture the faces and smiles of refugee camps in the country. The resulting exhibition “Cheka Kidogo”, Swahili for “laugh a little”, also now an Oxfam calendar, comprises of beautiful, wonderfully heart-felt portraits.

Here are some of my personal favourites….


“Cheka Kidogo”, for me, is portrait photography at its very best.

Beautifully simple portraits (ie. Rankins trademark white backdrop) with bags of character crucially aimed at raising awareness of an important appeal. I think what is so striking about these portraits, Jasmine, a young girl, Tumanini, a tailor, is that they defy the style, the feeling of traditional photography of war and disaster victims.

The people in these photographs really shine through as individuals, with humour and warmth.

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DRC Shots Made into Menelik Postcards.

Posted in DRC, Kinshasa, Menelik Education, Volunteer Photographer by Laura Rainsford on December 24, 2009

I am very proud to say that three of my photographs from a recent trip to the Democractic Republic of Congo with non-profit Menelik Education have been made into postcards! Here are the choosen photographs.

Tiny Bon Bon stands amongst the shadows of a classroom in the Lembo-Menelik International Academy

Three young girls fascinated by the camera stare across a desk of the Lembo-Menelik International Academy

The streets of Kinshasa, as seen through the window of a Congolese taxi

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Posted in Congo, Congolese, DRC, Kinshasa, Menelik Education, Volunteer Photographer by Laura Rainsford on September 23, 2009

This summer I travelled to Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, as a volunteer photographer for the non-profit organisation Menelik Education. This was a real privilege.      

Menelik Education is a Congolese-led charity working to improve conditions in Kinshasa, D.R.Congo, in the areas of education, health, and living conditions.

I miss the city and the characters I meet there dearly.      

Here are a selection of my photographs of the sights and of the faces of Kinshasa.