Mum-Of-Four Captures The Beauty Of Technology-Free Childhood In Tender Photo Series

'I didn’t want to shy away from the less joyful aspects of the journey.'

A mother who wanted to replicate her technology-free childhood for her four children has documented their unusual upbringing in two touching photo series.

Niki Boon, a photographer from New Zealand, describes her childhood as “barefoot ,wild and free”, and she has managed to recreate this for her children Kurt, 13, Rebecca, 12, Anton, nine, and Arwen, seven.

The family don’t own a TV and while Boon does have a computer in the house, her oldest two children have only recently been granted “extremely limited” access to it for their music.

Boon’s ‘Wild And Free and ‘Childhood In The Raw’ photo series were born out of her wish to document her unconventional approach to her children’s education (they are home-schooled) and their technology-free lifestyle.
“I guess I started like all devoted mothers do, with photos of our babies and to document who they become as they grow,” Boon told The Huffington Post UK.

“But it was with our decisions to educate our children alternatively that documenting them took on a whole new direction and meaning for me."
“Taking an unconventional approach to our children’s education and our lifestyle has been a journey with many questions, both from others and from ourselves, about what we are doing and why, and the pictures helped me to reflect on what we did each day, what we accomplished and what they were learning."
“I also wanted to explore what childhood is, and what it is to grow up and for this reason I choose to also show images which may depict the loneliness and solitude of childhood, the pain and hurt that is also experienced, I didn’t want to shy away from the less joyful aspects of the journey."
“As far as why no computer-use or devices for our kids: Our initial inspiration came from the Steiner-led education approach, they don’t use technology with their students in the primary school levels. We read the research and it really resonated with us and our lifestyle choices."
“We’ve experienced no problems or challenges at all with their lack of exposure to TV.

“We do have a computer in the house, and they are aware of what technology is, and the two older children are free to have some extremely limited access to it for a specific purpose now, specifically for their music."
“We find that our children spend a lot of time reading (we have a very large collection of a wide range of books) and are outside a huge amount, the learning that comes from experiencing the world around them is phenomenal really."
“Children are all naturally curious and we have found that they will seek answers and learning from everywhere they can, for our children this has been from books and the world around them, the land, nature, other people, travel."
“This is just a decision we have made with our children, and I am in no way suggesting it is what every parent should to every family unique is different and in light of that parents need to do what they feel is right for their children, this is what we feel is best for our children at this time."
You can see more of Boon’s photography work on her website, Facebook and Instagram pages.