NIKI BOON PHOTOGRAPHY(BLENHEIM, New Zealand) — Can you imagine life without TV or your smartphone?
One mother of four, living in rural New Zealand, is raising her children without those modern electronics.
“We haven’t had TV since the eldest was an infant,” Niki Boon told ABC News. “So they don’t know what life is like with a TV and likewise with electronic devices.”
She’s capturing their stripped down childhood in an ongoing photo series titled “Childhood in the Raw” that features poignant black and white photos of her children playing on their 10-acre property in the Marlborough region of South Island, New Zealand.
Arwen, 6, Anton, 8, Rebecca, 11, and Kurt, 12, are seen playing outdoors, bumping into animals and exploring bodies of water right in their backyard. They’re also captured eating tasty treats and even crying.
The mother said she accidentally fell into documenting her children’s lives for a photo series.
“I started like all devoted mothers do, with [taking] photos of our babies to document who they become as they grow,” she explained. “But I think it was our decision to educate our children alternatively that documenting them took on a whole new direction and meaning for me.”
Boon said her children so far haven’t been limited by their lack of access to electronics.
“If we need to find information out, we use books and other tangible resources, and a lot of their learning is done hands-on in their environment,” she said.
Boon admitted that the family does have some electronics for convenience, such as “day to day appliances” and a computer.
“Electronics are in their lives by default, living in the world we have these days, but we encourage our children to turn their natural curiosities to the riches of tangibles like books, the outdoors, nature and our immediate environment as a whole,” she said.
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