BUILD AND BLOOM® is a Nonprofit organization carving out a safe space for young photographers, both online and in-person. our online community is made up of many different types of creative individuals and all levels are welcome to join in — there is a spot for everyone at the table!

created by our founder, jessica whitaker,  in october 2016, build and bloom stemmed from the concept of community over competition. jessica found there was a lack of encouraging online communities for young creatives and decided to fill the gap.

our online community is composed mostly of photographers, and is now one of facebook’s most highly-engaged photography groups. because the group is diverse, including different specialties within the industry, members are able to receive many different perspectives on varying topics. collaboration is encouraged and blossoms from this safe learning environment.  


in early 2018, there became a need for in-person meet-ups. we desired for these connections to stay community-based. for this reason, build and bloom started facilitating in-person gatherings by volunteering at other non-profit’s events in new york city, such as the 100 cameras annual spring gala and josephine herrick project’s spring auction fundraiser. this way our creatives could still meet and connect while serving a larger purpose.

in 2018, the in-person community came together in 8 free workshops that took place across the united states and europe. the workshops centered around three topics: photography, social media, and marketing strategies. All of the workshops were business oriented to equip creatives with the professional and interpersonal skills they wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to learn. the workshops were called “RALLY!” and were free in order to bring equal opportunity to all in the community, enabling them to change their legacy through a photography business. at our RALLY! workshops, guest speakers from local communities would come and teach as well. we felt local speakers were critical to the program's success because when the build + bloom team left town, those attending still had a resource in their local area to reach out to who would continue offering support. build + bloom completed 8 of these free workshops in seattle, los angeles, new york city, dallas, houston, seattle again, pairs, and london. for more information about our workshops, please click here! now, in 2019, build + bloom is taking a pause from the workshops to focus on a greater community project.


in-person connection remains very needed, and this is why we have launched sisterxsister. sisterxsister was founded in march 2018 and has met in over 16 cities across the united states. sisterxsister is a volunteer program for young girls interested in media. it is for girls, lead by girls. it is a monthly networking group that gathers in cities across the united states, connecting hundreds of young women who CREATE. each month we host an open discussion around a common issue within the creative media industry and exchange thoughts on how we can change and better the industry. this group fosters genuine friendships in local communities via a common interest like media. all creative young girls starting out in the media arts are welcome! our intention for this group is to build up our local community of young women in media and empower, encourage, + equip them for the workforce. click here for more information on sisterxsister.

Jessica’s article in the Dallas-based Urban Vacancy press sums our mission up nicely. when asked, “How does B+B stand out against other content creator communities?” Jessica states: “I don’t look to the right or to the left at other communities. To me there’s no competition because there is enough room at the table for everyone. Our biggest rallying point ‘is less me, more we.’ I think it’s all about the team and the core values. Does the team live it out in their own life? Do they walk it out? It’s all about good leadership.”

BUILD AND BLOOM has a lot in store for the future, and we are stoked to have you along for the ride. we will always remain a secure place to share work, ideas, and inspiration.