Niki Boon is a photographer and a mother of four from New Zealand. These two faces of hers harmoniously match: a fan of rural life who grew up on a farm, she is now recreating the freedom that she had in her childhood for her kids – and documenting it in her series of photos. The pictures she takes are full of life and energy unexplained for us, this is why we decided to find out more about her days and craft. Niki told us about the inspiration of the plain rural life, self-practise for a self-taught photographer and baldness of exposing your works to the audience.
How did you get to where you are right now?
My interest in photography started when I travelled and worked overseas after graduating from university, but I never really focused on it too much until we decided to educate our children alternatively at home. I knew I wanted to document our days, but I felt that my photography skills were limited, so I put a lot of late nights into researching how to improve my craft.
Was there anyone who influenced you?
I am someone who is always looking to learn something, and I have enjoyed discovering a wide range of artists in my photography journey so far.
Many of the magnum photographers, both past and present, as well as other documentary photographers have inspired me, their art as well as their passion and drive for their subjects and their stories. I have also been inspired by painters, by sculptors and also by street art, however we don’t have so much of it where I live.
Have you ever taken risks to move forward?
It was a friend of mine that suggested I put some of my pictures on Facebook. Although it doesn’t sound very adventurous, it was something I was very unsure about doing. But I have over the course learnt that the more I put myself out there, the more I risk the more I gain in terms of connections and community – and the more resilient I become in dealing with the negative that also comes with it all.
How would you describe your style?
Not too sure I have never thought about my pictures having a ‘style’. To be honest, I just shoot what I find interesting, what moves me, or what I want to remember about a time or a moment.
Are your family and friends supportive of what you do?
I guess so, not outwardly, but they know what I do, and they like the photos I make of both my own and their families, so – yeah, I guess.
Where’s home and how living there influences you?
We live in the top of the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand.
We live in a big old house on a 10 acre block of land with paddocks, small vineyard, small pond and wetlands. We are lucky to be surrounded by wild and vast coastline, rivers, bush and hills, all within a short distance from our home.
Do you have a routine?
I am terrible at routine, definitely not a strong point of mine. In the morning and evening we all have jobs to do, both inside the house and outside, including the responsibilities that come from keeping animals. Learning comes all through the day, with whatever comes up, or what the children choose to explore. We will periodically encourage a little maths and writing on some days. Our days are often a mix of staying home and catching up on jobs here, or going out and about and discovering an adventure or too in our surrounding environment.
What gives you ideas and inspires you?
The outdoors, always! Also the crazy, weird, beautiful and unexpected things that kids do.
What do you see yourself doing in a few years?
My kids are growing up so freakin quickly (what is with that?!), so I will work to document what I have left of their days at home, for as long a they are OK with it.
I would love to pursue some long term projects when I have more time, and I have a few in mind, but I will have to see where they lead.
To see more work by Niki, visit her website: