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Unapologetic: The Queen of Self Love

Unapologetic: The Queen of Self Love

Julia Busato went viral and captured headlines on likes of CBC, ET Canada and even across the pond on the BBC in 2014 after Facebook banned her “mannequin series.” The Guelph-based photographer now calls herself “lucky” because the ban catapulted her social media presence into the stratosphere. Her Instagram (@juliabusatophotography) boasts an impressive 17.6K followers...and as for Facebook, she’s shown them who’s boss, and has amassed a whopping 76K followers.

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2019 issue of The Holistic Parent.


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1. Tell us a bit about yourself

I’m a single mother of two great boys. I have struggled a lot in life and still have things I struggle with, but I try not to let things get to me too much. I’m super lucky to have the amazing support of my family and friends in my life. I would not be who I am without them. I work as a photographer and at Winners.

2. How did you get started in photography? And what drew you to the social media space?

Photography started because of my dad, who is an amazing artist. He always sent me art supplies on birthdays and holidays. I never took to a lot of what was sent to me, but many moons ago he sent me a point-and-shoot camera and it took off from there. I never looked back — it was my one way to express myself in a way I have never been able to do before. Social media lets me share what that expression was and get feedback on I wanted to share with the world.

3. How important is social media to your business?

It’s one of the greatest platforms right now to showcase myself and my work. It gets me seen across the globe.

4. Can you tell me about your success online? How did you build your following?

My following started with me just being me. I feel like I’m one of the luckiest people around because Facebook decided to be a giant bully and blocked me from my professional page for 30 days. By doing so, they projectiled my work more into the interweb and more people get to see my work and message daily.

5. How do you feel about the attention (positive or negative) you’ve received online?

The negative attention from my one series going viral (the “mannequin series”) was hurtful and hard to deal with at times. But with the wise words of friends: “There will always be people in this world without a kind word to say to those that expose their vulnerable sides.” That is why I keep doing what I do!

6. What does your family feel about your photography career, and specifically the subject matter you photograph?

At first, there was a bit of a worry about how people would see what I do as a thing of beauty. Now they are my biggest support system.

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7. What is your favourite part of your job?

Making all people feel great about themselves.

8. What’s been the most challenging part of doing what you do?

Some days taking on a client’s or subject’s worries and self-doubt in themselves can be hard at times. I tend to take everything in and hold it until I can decompress and release things I should not carry around in my heart. 

9. Where do you see your career going in the next 5 years? 10 years?

I want to have a table-top book published of my series and maybe move on to another series that showcase body love as well.

10.  Any tips for someone starting out as a photographer and looking to grow their business on social media?

Be yourself! Your work will only get better as time goes by. But you should never change who you are to bring in clients or viewers. People will love you or leave you on the daily on social media. So always stand up strong and be you!


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“Rapid Fire” Questions

1. Coffee or tea? Wine or beer?

Coffee. And vodka…LOL

 2. Night owl or early bird?

Early bird

 3. Favourite thing about being a mom? Least favourite?

Hearing them belly laugh to this day is my favourite sound. Still dealing with attitude at their age...LOL

 4. What do you love about living this area?

The tight-knit community.

 5. Favourite thing to do with your family in the area? 

Go for ice cream and a walk.


The Holistic Parent had the privilege of working with Julia Busato for our Summer 2018 “Body Positive Issue”. To see her beautiful images, click here!

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