Based in Blenheim, New Zealand, Niki Boon is inspired by her environment, capturing life as a collection of moments - weaving them into stories worth remembering. She documents her children to help see them as happy and free: Niki’s work marries fine art and photojournalism so delicately that the energy and spontaneity captured in her work transports you as if you had lived it yourself, viewing it now almost nostalgically. It’s a testament to what life should be when growing up.
1. What do making images mean to you?
To me it is the reflection of my life, and my children’s life as it stands right now, my family , my home, our daily life. As a mother I often wonder and worry if what we are providing for our children is enough. The pictures help me to see that my children are happy and free, and that it is indeed enough.
2. What is life to you? What it should be?
Life to me is a collection of moments that join to make the stories. It is all we have at the end, so I aim to make the stories worth remembering.
3. How does where you live influence your creativity?
I am lucky to live on a 10 acre block of land in rural New Zealand, with beautiful rivers, wild coastline, hills and bush nearby. I am inspired by windswept beaches and wide open spaces, anywhere unrestricted, so I find inspiration everywhere.
4. There are a lot of professions out there - why be a photographer?
I love it, I can’t get away from it and can be often consumed by it. I figure if it is something I am obsessed with I should be doing it.
5. Are you creativity satisfied at the moment?
I live in a beautiful country, surrounded by some wild vast open spaces, with my four wild and free range children, although my personal internal, creativity waxes and wanes. I am lucky to be around so much external; inspirational.
6. What movie did you love recently?
I love character based movies, lately I have enjoyed Silver Linings Playbook.
7. Describe your path to what you’re doing now.
I started shooting my children’s daily life, my current project,on a regular basis when we decided to educate our children more alternatively, and the photos helped me reflect on what we were doing, and general day to day goings on… My photography learning pathway has come from books, a few online courses and lots of shooting.
8. Have you had any mentors along the way
I haven’t had any ‘formal’ mentors but I have been lucky enough to have ‘met’ and been taught by some incredible artists in my journey so far.
9. Do you shoot with your left or right eye?
Right eye (had to go to my camera and check though)
10. Where do you see yourself in 10 year’s time?
In 10 years’ time my children will all be grown, but I hope that my curiosity they helped instil in me and my passion for my art will remain, and that as long as I keep my eyes open a new project will come to me.
Bonus Q: Do you think the gear you use affects the way you photograph? Why?
I shoot with a canon 5D Mark III, and a 35mm lens. I think using a 35 mm has influenced the way I approach a picture. I used to work with only a 50mm or occasionally an 85mm, but with the 35mm I think it forces me to think more, to compose more carefully and think harder about the frame, what to put in and where.
Currently digital it is what works best for me in this stage of my life with a busy family life, but one day I see some film experimentation too. My processing usually starts with Kodak tri-x 400 or Ilford HP5.