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Boudoir: Healing Through Photography and More with Devin Archilla

Three things we dive into in this episode:

  1. Devin's winding road to her current career as a Boudoir photographer

  2. The healing and empowering experience of Boudoir photography

  3. Tangible tools and prompts to start healing your relationship with photos of yourself


📌Episode Highlights

[04:16] Who Is Devin Archilla?

  • Devin is a Boudoir photographer.

  • Her style of photography is not for the private enjoyment of romantic partners. It’s for each woman to view herself in a raw, real, and transformative way.

  • Caitie did a photo shoot with her in Bozeman, Montana in a recent pivotal moment of her life.

  • Devin was the person who took the photo that become the cover art of this podcast.

[09:25] Getting into Photography

  • Devin was athletic growing up. It was her drive for everything.

  • Being in front of a camera always came naturally to her in some aspects.

  • She got into photography after her dad bought a camera to take photos and videos of her for volleyball recruitment.

  • She originally went to college to play volleyball but decided to focus on her Graphic Design and Business major.

  • Everything she knows about photography is self-taught.

[11:10] Her Photography and Graphic Design Career Journey

  • She has always loved interior design, composition, and layouts in design school.

  • Despite showcasing many different things, she often felt like all the things she was doing were an 8 out of 10.

  • She studied under Doug Loman, Bozeman’s grandfather of photography, for around three summers. They photographed over 100 weddings together.

  • After realizing weddings were not for her, she worked at a design agency for five years. There, she was responsible for graphic design and project coordination.

[13:26] Discovering Boudoir Photography

  • Devin got married in 2016. She decided to do a Boudoir photoshoot after seeing a photo on Instagram.

  • At the time, she was also going through therapy for being sexually molested as a teenager.

  • Receiving the photos from the shoot after her last therapy session was a huge turning point for her.

  • Once she told people about it, she realized that Boudoir photography is empowering.

Devin: “I don't care if you're 50, or if you're 20, or if you're 17, or if you've had six kids. Everyone at every stage, you should be able to honor and have these beautiful representations of you throughout so many points of your life.” - Click Here To Tweet This

[17:24] Becoming a Boudoir Photographer

  • A year later, her sister-in-law got married. Devin recommended doing a Boudoir shoot as a wedding gift for her husband.

  • Her sister-in-law asked Devin to do the photoshoot for her.

  • From there, she started doing these shoots part-time while working a full-time job and training to become a fitness instructor.

  • She eventually quit her job after booking herself out six months in advance and securing her income.

  • She has been working full-time as a Boudoir photographer for three years and has photographed over 250 women.

[22:16] Creating a Healing Experience through Boudoir Photoshoot

  • Devin personally loves capturing simple moments in the most natural way possible.

  • But outside her preference, she wants women to feel like they can fully show up as who they are.

Devin: "There's this really unique balance of making someone feel comfortable like you're holding their hand through it but you're also not turning the spotlight on how awesome you are. You have to always turn it back to the client. Like, this is actually for them. If they're not comfortable, then you're not doing your job at all." - Click Here To Tweet This
  • It’s simultaneously allowing space for clients to realize their value while recognizing when you’re pushing the line.

  • Being with another person in a space for a substantial amount of time is intimate.

  • Doing photoshoots is more than snapping photos endlessly; it’s about the human experience.

[27:26] Why Do Boudoir?

  • Society has told us that our 20s are when we have the best bodies.

  • Almost all the mothers Devin photographed didn’t have an individual photo of them outside a family photo.

  • Boudoir is about honoring your body right then and there in whatever state it is.

  • Photographs have a special way of slowing you down and bringing you back to a moment in your life.

  • Boudoir is a way of acknowledging the things you do, have done, and have been through, especially as a woman. It's a transformative launching pad to healing.

[33:30] Discomfort as Part of the Photography Process

  • You can watch people blossom into comfort with themselves throughout a photo shoot.

  • Almost half of Devin’s clients have struggled or are still struggling with eating disorders.

  • She makes clients fill up an inquiry form to allow her to be more intentional with her language.

  • How people react to photographs of themselves and their bodies is their perception of themselves. Boudoir is transformative in this matter.

[40:24] Reclaiming Photography

  • Devin originally made her Instagram private because her husband was a youth pastor at their church.

  • She only accepts follow requests from women. She has curated a safe space for women to show vulnerability and feel daring.

  • We all have a human body, and it should be represented as a beautiful art form.

  • We can ‘reclaim photography’ by making a return to raw, real, unfiltered photographs.

  • Printing your photos and hanging them on the wall are a tangible way of reclaiming photography. In this way, we avoid the unrealistic filters and editing we’re used to seeing online and bring back the original essence of photography with hard copies.

Caitie: “It's not a matter of if you have a body—we all have a freakin’ body. And so if you can take the time to actually deeply celebrate it and celebrate other people feeling confident in it so that they can go move through the world and do everything else that they want to do that's bigger than their body, that's amazing.” - Click Here To Tweet This

[47:18] What Makes Devin Whole, Full, and Alive

  • What helps Devin tap into a sense of wholeness is movement and feeling strong and empowered in her body.

  • She feels fueled, full, and energized by being outside.

  • She feels most alive doing her job and providing herself the same fulfillment she pours out to other people.

[50:33] What Devin is Excited About

  • She has three upcoming photoshoots in Joshua Tree and branding shoots for women-owned businesses.

  • She is going to Italy in June to photograph a retreat and offer Boudoir sessions.

  • She will be in the French Alps in July to photograph for her best friend’s company, Kula Collective.

  • Devin has a merch line coming out called Devin Helen Boudoir Gear and Goods.

[53:13] Processing Prompt and Actionable Tools

  • Ask yourself, “What is the first thought that comes up when I look at an image of myself? What are those thoughts telling me about my relationship with myself?”

  • Are you looking at the details of your body first? Or are you first able to connect with your energy in the photo?

  • Loving images of yourself is about being able to look at a photo and say, "Yes, that's me."

  • For the action experiment, go outside and spend time away from the screen.

  • You can immediately feel an energy shift outside your body by stepping away from the screen and into a new environment.

About Devin

Devin Helen Archilla is a Boudoir photographer. The purpose of Devin’s photography is for each woman to view herself in a real, raw, and transformative way. Her photographs celebrate the radiant beauty and the infinite worth of women and help clients capture their unique presence and individuality. She is passionate about holding space for women and helping them feel empowered and strong in their bodies.

Outside photography, Devin spends her time camping, hiking, traveling, teaching fitness classes, and running in the mountains with her dogs: Thor & Santiago.

Connect with Devin on her website or Instagram.

🤗 Enjoyed the Podcast?

Whole, Full, & Alive is a podcast exploring the art and science of falling in love with your life, with your story, and with who you truly are — underneath your titles, your resume, your relationship status, and your bank account.

Leave a review and share it! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ If you enjoyed tuning in to this podcast, Caitie would appreciate it if you wrote a review. You can also share this episode to help others feel whole, full, and alive. Change the narrative, return to real + unfiltered photographs, and feel empowered through Boudoir!

Have any questions or want to leave a suggestion? Come say hi on the 'gram, @caitie.c.rd! You can also sign up for Caitie’s nutrition coaching program and community, Whole, Full, and Alive, and get a FREE 20 Minute Discovery Call!

Thanks for listening! 💖 Stay tuned to Caitie’s website for more episode updates and other exciting programs and resources.


Devin Archilla: I would never want to be part of someone's story that didn't make them feel more empowered, more beautiful, more strong. So she took a chance on me and she was like, let's just see what happens. I was like, wow, you're brave. Okay. So she came here, and we did the same thing that I did, because I didn't know anything else. It was the most fun that I've ever had a photo shoot, and I had never been more proud at the time of the images that I took of her. I was like, okay, I wonder if I can figure out how to do this.

Caitie Corradino: Welcome to Whole, Full and Alive, a podcast exploring the art and science of falling in love with your life, with your story and with who you truly are, underneath your titles, your resume, your relationship status, and your bank account. I'm Caitie Corradino, a registered dietician nutritionist, certified fitness and yoga instructor, eating disorder recovery coach, Reiki healer, and founder of Full Soul Nutrition, but underneath my titles and resume, a big fan of kitchen dance breaks, early mornings, all things chocolate truffles, world traveling and serendipity.

I'm here to share no bullshit stories and actionable tools to help you feel unshakably worthy. You have everything you need within you to feel whole, full and alive right here, right now. Let's get into it. Hey, welcome to episode seven of Whole, Full and Alive. Thanks so much for coming back. If this is your first time joining the podcast, thanks so much for being here. I want to say right off the bat that this episode you're about to tune into is a special one.

So this is a special episode that's a little different than the previous episodes that I've published so far, because it is an interview that I pulled out from the archives. So this interview that I'm sharing with you today was recorded much earlier this year. It was recorded in early April of this year, when I was in Bozeman, Montana. Maybe you're not familiar with my story. Maybe this is the first episode that you're tuning into.

So I just want to say very briefly that earlier this year, after living in New York City for 10 years, I decided that I didn't want to be there anymore, and I gave up my apartment lease in March. In March, I started traveling around to different parts of the United States and also parts of Europe to decide where I wanted to live next, because I knew I didn't want to be in New York anymore.

One of the first places that I went on this little nomadic journey was Bozeman, Montana, which seemed super random to a lot of the people around me, especially my friends and family from New York City. They're like Bozeman, Montana, what's that? Is that in United States? It was an incredible place, first of all, to be for the nature, the proximity to national parks, and all of that.

I had a beautiful mountain view from a very affordable Airbnb, which was incredible. The other reason I was drawn to Bozeman was because I wanted to do a photo shoot with my friend, Devin Archilla, and she is on the show today. While I was doing this photo shoot with Devin, I was like I'm going to publish a podcast at some point later this year. I have no idea what the structure of the show is going to be like.

I know it's gonna be called Whole, Full and Alive. I don't really know anything else. But I feel like while I'm here with you in Bozeman, after we're done shooting, can I just record an interview with you. So that's what we did. So the structure and the style, and of course, the audio quality of this interview is a little different than the ones that I've published so far over the last couple of weeks.

But that's because when I recorded this interview, I really didn't know what I was doing. I really wasn't sure how I was going to format this podcast, but I knew while I was there in Bozeman with Devin, this incredible person who I'm going to tell you about in a moment, I wanted to record that interview. So I'm sharing it with you today, and I'm really excited about it.

Because I didn't really know how I was going to format the show at the time I recorded this interview, I'll also pop on at the end for an outro so that I can still give you a processing prompt and an action experiment to take away from today's show. So let me ensure you to Devin before I dive into my conversation with her.

Devin is a boudoir photographer, and maybe you're surprised that I'm having a boudoir photographer on this podcast and honestly if you asked me a year ago, if I was going to interview a boudoir photographer, I'd be like probably not. Devin has really transformed my perspective on boudoir photography, and also gave me, personally, space to explore my relationship with photos of myself.

As someone who's recovered from an eating disorder and anxiety and body image issues and as someone who now works with people recovering from eating disorders, anxiety and body image issues, I've thought and looked at photos, photo shoots in a lot of different ways. The way I related to photos of myself has really gone through lots of ups and downs and highs and lows and twists and turns. Of course, I see that for every single one of my clients on a regular basis, ad so I was really excited to have this conversation with Devin.

We're gonna dive into a little bit of the nitty gritty of some of that. Can you use photos of yourself to empower yourself? How can you use photos of yourself to empower yourself? When are you ready to do that? Anyway, Devin is the perfect person to have this conversation with because she's not a Victoria's Secret boudoir photographer. When you think of boudoir, you might be thinking of the glitz and the glam and the fake eyelashes and the bright red lacy bra tops, ad that's actually not the style of boudoir photography that Devin does.

The purpose of Devin's photography is not for the private enjoyment of romantic partners. It's for each woman to view herself in a raw and real and transformative way. Devin is so passionate about holding space for her clients, and helping them capture their unique presence and their individuality, and she does so in such a beautiful way. I can attest to her skill because I was fortunate enough to be able to do a photoshoot with her right before I recorded this interview that you're going to hear.

I have to say, before I dive into the interview, this was such a serendipitous experience for me. I connected with Devin via and entrepreneur working group and mastermind in late 2021. I started to look at some of the work she was doing, this unedited, non photoshopped, just raw, beautiful photography of women of all shapes and sizes and walks of life. I was like, I really want to get in on this.

I think maybe I'll come visit Devin in Bozeman and do a shoot with her. Then, I booked the shoot for April and then ended up going through my breakup and my nomadic journey and all of that like right around the time that I had booked the shoot for. So it was really serendipitous and awesome to have this empowering space to work with Devin while I was in that pivotal moment of my life.

So I'm super stoked to share this interview with her and you'll learn more about her and what she does by listening to it. Final thing I want to share before diving into the interview though is that I know this is a touchy subject. I know that the way we relate to images of ourselves, and the way we feel in front of a camera is complex and convoluted, and deep.

So if you're listening to this interview and you're feeling inspired by it but uncertain, whether you are ready to use images of yourself to feel more empowered, I encourage you to stick around for the outro of this episode, where I'm going to give you a processing prompt to start thinking about this a little bit more. With that, I'm gonna get into my interview from the archives with Devin Archilla.

By the way, she took the cover art of this podcast. The image that's on the cover of this podcast is one of the photos that I did in a shoot with her so it wasn't all boudoir. It wasn't all the door in the way you think it is. It was a lot of just like some portrait work and fun images that sort of captured me at a really pivotal moment of my life. I'm thankful to use her art for this podcast cover.

All right, let's get into it. I am so grateful to be here in Bozeman, Montana during a snowstorm, post photo shoot with Devin Archilla. Yeah, I love that. That has such a vibe to it. Okay, with Devin Archilla, and we are going to be talking a little bit about what it's like to be a boudoir photographer. But before we get there, Devin, how did you arrive at this career choice? How did you create this business? Where was it born? No answers too long. Take it away.