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A group of women pose for a photo at the first Brooklyn Yearbook event in January.
Photograph: By OBam Productions @obamproductions | The first Brooklyn Yearbook event in January.

Score a copy of the Brooklyn Yearbook at this cool new social event

Yearbooks aren't just for high school anymore.

Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Written by
Rossilynne Skena Culgan

Yearbooks tend to be associated with high school. Think headshot portraits, club photos, and scrawled messages of "have a great summer." But at their core, the format commemorates a moment in time, and a new project aims to document this current moment in Brooklyn.

You can get a copy of The Brooklyn Yearbook at a new event coming up on Saturday, April 13; tickets are on sale now for $60

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The event is the brainchild of friends Jordan Williams and Brandon Iverson who founded an organization they called SEEDS (Social Experimentation & Entrepreneurial Discovery Studio). The creative duo wanted to come up with a project that would merge nostalgia and socializing. They hosted a photoshoot event in January that was a sort-of "school picture day." More than 150 people attended, and it was such a success, that they decided to pull the photos into a physical book and host a book launch party.

A still image of the Brooklyn Yearbook.
Photograph: Courtesy of The Brooklyn Yearbook

"Actually turning those pictures into a physical yearbook that people can hold onto and remember years down the line of who I hung out with during this time in New York or what I really cared about. Capturing that moment," Williams said. 

Anybody is invited to the yearbook launch this month. Even if they didn't get their photo taken for it, the event offers a chance to meet new people and take home a cool keepsake for their bookshelf. 

A portrait photos from Brooklyn Yearbook.
Photograph: By OBam Productions @obamproductions | A portrait from the Brooklyn Yearbook.

The yearbook draws some inspiration from the traditional form, like senior quotes and superlatives for qualities like best dressed. But it also transforms the notion of a yearbook as a document that only exists in schools.

"Our goal has been to expand people's ideas of yearbook in a modern sense," he said.

Rather than just photos that look back in time, the yearbook encourages attendees to capture each month's memories going forward. The book includes space to write monthly goals, keep a vision board, prioritize self care, and answer prompts on conquering fear. Think of it more like a keepsake journal or planner. 

The events also subverts the idea of the high school "clique." The first event encouraged people to get to know one another through games like Uno and a manifestation board.

"How important to make spaces for people where they feel comfortable and safe especially when it comes to social interactions. People really want to get out of their comfort zone but they could use a little push to make it a little easier," Williams said he's learned about the event series. "I think you can make people's lives a little easier if you have activities that let their guards down or your make chance encounters a little more likely."

A group plays giant Uno at the first Brooklyn Yearbook event.
Photograph: By OBam Productions @obamproductions | A group plays giant Uno at the first Brooklyn Yearbook event.

After the first event, Williams noticed people staying in touch. He even attended two events hosted by people he met in January. The April event promises a DJ and a live podcast taping, plus plenty of socializing. Williams hopes to host future Brooklyn Yearbook events so people can see how they've evolved over the years — just like in high school but even better.

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