An intimate and delicate photographic series about growing up in the backwoods of rural New Zealand. The series was named a finalist in the LensCulture Exposure Awards 2015. Discover more inspiring work from all 31 of the winners and finalists.

We live a simple life in rural New Zealand on a 10-acre property surrounded by rivers, coastline, bush and hills.

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.

I document their days, together, in an environment full of nature and uninhibited play. I photograph as a physical record of their childhood, life as it is: the real. But also as a reflection of a childhood rooted deep in my own past, a most sincere place of freedom. A childhood I now pass on to my own children.

Although this work is deeply personal, I believe that viewers will also be able to connect to some aspect of their own childhood through these photographs.

I believe my children are right where they belong: covered in mud, running and living within nature. They belong here, wild and free, earth-connected in a way where the landscape begins and their little souls end.

—Niki Boon