Photographer Niki Boon and her family enjoy the tranquility that a rural lifestyle offers. They currently reside on a 10-acre property in New Zealand that’s surrounded by the natural beauty of the coastline, rivers, and gentle rolling hills. This bucolic environment has a profound effect on the choices they make. Boon explains, “My children are unschooled and live without TV or modern electronic devices, a lifestyle that may seem unconventional to some, but I am here to celebrate the magical place I choose to live with my family.”
One device that Boon does have is her camera, and she uses it to document their everyday lives spent outdoors. She calls this ongoing photo series Childhood in the Raw, and it depicts her offspring interacting with each other and the land they call home. It’s an unflinching look at the messy moments of play as her two boys and two girls dip into the muddy waters and traverse the fields with their animals in tow. They’ve got a carefree attitude and appear fully engaged, living life in the moment rather than tethered to their smartphones.
The kids have little access to Boon’s photography equipment and have minimal interaction with the camera while they’re in front of it. For each of their birthdays, however, she gives them a selection of these special images with the hope that they’ll return to these memories in the distant future. “They will hold a piece of me and my love for everything they are and everything they do.”