Minis Eryri | Snowdon Minis 2019 Calendar Commission
To celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Classic Mini and also 15 years since Minis Eryri | Snowdon Minis was formed, I was commissioned by the club to create a 2019 calendar in aid of Wales Air Ambulance. Minis Eryri | Snowdon Minis was formed at the 45th Anniversary Mini event hosted at Silverstone in 2004 and regularly meets for runs around North Wales and attend various Mini and classic car events across the UK.
Wales Air Ambulance provides a free, life-saving Helicopter Emergency Medical Service for the critically ill and injured of Wales all year round. Their four airbases in Caernarfon, Llanelli, Welshpool and Cardiff allow them to be anywhere in Wales within 20 minutes. As the charity does not receive direct funding from the government and also fails to qualify for National Lottery funding, their helicopters are kept in the air through charitable donations, fundraising events and membership of their in-house Lifesaving Lottery.
As I have a close relationship with the club through being a member myself for many years with my previous 1981 Austin Mini City and my current 1970 Austin Mini Clubman, I was given a very open brief which allowed me to take full control of the calendar from start to finish.
After several months of speaking to club members and scouting suitable locations with owners in areas in which they felt connected to, photoshoot dates were organised in beautiful locations across Snowdonia. Not only would these locations be key to creating great backdrops, but also increasing the selling point of the calendar to raise as much money as possible for the charity. Minis of various ages and styling were chosen to showcase the wide variety of cars the club has, ranging from an original 1960 Austin Cooper to a Rover Mini Cooper Sport 2000.
North Wales weather isn’t usually that kind but the drought of Summer 2018 gave me the perfect opportunity to achieve great lighting for the shoots and capturing crystal clear scenery for the backdrops as seen below with the view of Snowdon Summit.
Also, we couldn’t create a calendar without photographing one of the smallest cars in the world with the longest place name in Europe and the second longest official one-word place name in the world!
For anyone who wants to know the English translation, it is… Saint Mary's Church in the hollow of the white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio of the red cave.
In July, the club was given exclusive access to the beautiful and Iconic village of Portmeirion for a photoshoot to create content for the calendar. Created by Welsh architect Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1976, Portmeirion is one of Wales' premier visitor attractions, welcoming over 200,000 visitors every year. It also provided the backdrop for the 1960's cult classic series, The Prisoner, starring Patrick McGoohan and became one of the most influential pieces of television of the 1960's across the world.
The stunning architecture created a great backdrop and colour contrast against founding member, Ger Roberts’ Mini Cooper Sport for the month of October!
In the same month, I was also given the rare opportunity to be allowed to photograph my Mini Clubman next to the Wales Air Ambulance after winning the award for ‘Best Presented Car’ at the annual car run called ‘Taith Eryri’ (Tour of Snowdonia). Organised by Caernarvonshire & Anglesey Motor Club, the run aims to bring together a variety of cars to enjoy the Snowdonia landscape while raising vital funds for Wales Air Ambulance. Immediately after the photograph was taken, the helicopter needed to run its daily checks and typically with many people watching, the Mini decided it didn’t want to start and resulted in it being pushed off the airfield! This is still remembered by the staff and pilots of Wales Air Ambulance to this day but it was definitely worth it to capture this photograph. Of course, it was a no-brainer to use this for the front cover!
As I am a big believer of supporting local businesses/companies rather than outsourcing further afield, the decision was made to keep the production and printing of the calendar local, which lead to me choosing Paul Gibson of Firecracker Design & Print located on the Isle of Anglesey. If you require any graphic design and print services, Paul is your man! His regular contact through visits and emails allowed for my ideas of layout and design to be discussed easily which helped produce a great looking calendar.
Below is the finished front cover with the new club logo created by Dave at Arwyddion Caernarfon Signs and also the Wales Air Ambulance logo.
After several months of production and printing, the calendars went on sale for £10.00 each in November 2018 ready for the festive period. To increase its circulation, it was highly distributed across various social media platforms and also in the January 2019 issue of the MiniWorld Magazine, the original and best-selling magazine for the Mini. This allowed for sales beyond the United Kingdom to countries across Europe and as far as Canada, USA and also Australia which made it a great success!
After a busy couple of months selling, the Minis Eryri | Snowdon Minis 2019 Calendar raised £1000 for Wales Air Ambulance! This will contribute greatly to the annual target of £6.5million that is required to operate the service, with each mission on average costing £1500. Myself and Ger Roberts had the privilege of handing over the sum to Wales Air Ambulance on 3rd February 2019 at Caernarfon Airport where we had our photo taken with the brilliant pilots and medics.
One of the biggest achievements was a copy of the calendar being accepted by TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House, London with acknowledgement shown in the photo above!
Several days later, I received a Certificate of Appreciation through the post from Wales Air Ambulance to say thank you for the amount we raised to help keep the helicopters flying.
Myself and Ger Roberts would like to thank all 12 members for their contribution in being part of the calendar, to Portmeirion for exclusive access, Dave at Arwyddion Caernarfon Signs for the logo, Paul Gibson at Firecracker Design & Print for the production, MiniWorld for promotion in their magazine, and to all who purchased the calendar across the world!
If you missed out on purchasing a calendar, there is still an opportunity to acquire one or two as I have a few copies still available! Please contact for more information.
To support Wales Air Ambulance, please click here to donate.
Facebook page - Minis Eryri | Snowdon Minis
Photography - Jamie Stevens
Exclusive Access - Portmeirion
Logo - Arwyddion Caernarfon Signs
Production - Firecracker Design & Print
Members - Sam Edwards, Justin Zalot, Gareth Owen, Abbie & Zac Reilly, Ian Ashton, Berwyn Jones, Arwyn Roberts, Jamie Stevens, Daniel Jones, Ger Roberts, Neil Gavin, Carwyn Roberts
All photographs of the 2019 calendar can be seen below.
All photographs Copyright © Jamie Stevens Photography