“In the beginning, something Chi [Igbokwe ’21] and I wanted to do was capture Andover in general and have a physical representation of how students dress. It was just a fun thing… I’m working right now to make sure that I can keep track of everything, so that by the time I graduate, the office that is focused on all the Andover archives—so Abbot, anything that the school puts out—we’re working with them to make sure this can also be a part of that.”— Ari Phillips ’21
In the fall of her Junior Year, The Phillipian interviewed Phillips about the new club she had started alongside Igbokwe: The Andover Edition. Four years and over 500 Instagram followers later, Phillips was interviewed again with the same questions. From improving in photography to expanding The Andover Edition team, Phillips reveals how the club has evolved since its first year.
What is the goal of The Andover Edition?
2017: For now, it’s just kind of finding people and showcasing them. A lot of the time, people are like, ‘I like your outfit,’ but that’s kind of the end of it and I feel like if you’re on a page, people get to remember that and be like, ‘She’s on this page. Oh my god, her outfit was so nice that day.’ It just makes you feel good about yourself.
2020: The goal of Andover Edition is to archive a really important aspect of student life on campus. One of the things about Andover that’s always stood out to me is the fact that we don’t have a dress code. I originally came from a school where I wore the same thing over and over again for eight years. Coming to Andover, I really liked the overall style of the student body and how creative people can get with their clothes, especially when you’re living at a school, and you don’t have the opportunity to go out and buy things as much as you would like. I also think it’s super important to get to look back 20 years from now and get to see what the students actually were wearing and have a place with all of that centralized.
What is your background in photography?
2017: When I was little, I wanted to be a fashion designer. I had my mom get me a sewing machine and everything, but I still don’t use it. The Christmas before last Christmas, my mom got me a camera because I wanted to be a YouTuber and that did not work out, but I had this nice camera, so I started taking pictures. I really love taking pictures so much and allowing that to mix into fashion has been so fun.
2020: [The] Andover Edition is the way I got into fashion photography. I did take some pictures before I came to Andover, but I wouldn’t say that I was around enough people to be able to take as many pictures. When I got here, I wanted to become a better photographer. I wanted to learn the in and outs of my camera. Definitely, throughout the last four years, I have found my photography style. For anyone who’s looking to get into fashion photography, practice makes perfect. The more you do it, you figure out what types of angles people do, lighting overall, and how you can take pictures in a certain lighting to make them come out better. Angles is the most important thing, [as well as] knowing how to photograph people, where to photograph them, and what time to photograph them.
What is your favorite thing about running the account?
2017: I just think that at Andover, there are so many different people coming over so you see so many different styles and they incorporate culture into it. For us, it’s just really unique to get all those different personalities and backgrounds.
2020: The photography aspect [and] being able to meet different people. Not everyone is comfortable with having pictures taken of them. There have definitely been some people that we have taken pictures of that never actually made it to the page. But I think it’s really nice to meet this random person, talk to them a little bit, ask them some questions about themselves, then overall get a little more involved in the community.
What has been your favorite outfit featured on The Andover Edition?
2017: I think my favorite outfit was [by Jeffrey Steele ’20]. I liked his shirt a lot, and I liked the jacket because I like jackets like that. I felt like that outfit was so [Steele] and I just loved it the most because I’ve never seen something that’s that ‘out’ like that. It’s really nice because his personality is very out, and it really matched what he was wearing.
2020: The one that I’ve been most excited about is Claude Amen-Sayi ’21, because I remember that day, seeing him in his hat, thinking that outfit was so different from him. He’s one of my really close friends, so it was a relaxed shoot. It was raining that day, so it was really cool to get some pictures in the rain, something we normally wouldn’t have done. Overall, those pictures came out really well, and I’m currently using some of them for my art portfolio for college.
What do you hope for the future of The Andover Edition?
2017: In the next few months, we definitely want to get more people and a bigger team. It’s just us finding and we don’t get to see everybody all day, so I feel like if we have more people, we can get more eyes and get more information, so we can take more pictures of people and make it a lot better.
2020: Pretty much everyone on the board right now is a Senior… When I do turn over my position to someone else, [I’m looking for] someone who’s not only willing to learn everything, but I feel confident I can pass it onto them. For me, finding a good leader and someone who is really passionate about the Andover Edition [is really important]. I’m definitely 100% as passionate about this club as I was when I started it with [Igbokwe]. It’s also very, very, very time consuming, so it is hard sometimes to be able to manage my time and stay on top of the Andover Edition and stay on top of what’s happening on campus. We all really want… a broad group of people who are willing to do better than we have done in the future.
Editor’s Note: Ari Phillips is a Layout Editor for The Phillipian.