How I’m Turning Scottish Highland Hotels Into My Art Galleries

Dean Allan, landscape photographer based in Scotland, UK.

How I Am Making Print Sales Work For Me...


In a digital age where e-books, online magazines, and social media seem to dominate the world of content consumption, the print industry often gets sidelined. It’s no secret that the traditional print sales model has faced challenges in recent years. However, I want to share how I have embraced this challenge and even excel in the world of print sales. In this blog post, I’ll share my personal journey and insights on how I’ve been able to defy the odds and make print sales work for me.

Hotels Are My Art Galleries 

Nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of the Scottish Highlands, hotels offer a unique opportunity to showcase the beauty of the region through art. I’ve embarked on an innovative journey, persuading hotels in this picturesque setting to hang my prints on their walls – and I do most of it for free (almost)! In this blog post, I’ll share the hows and whys behind this creative collaboration, where everyone wins, even me.

The How:

1. Offering Prints for Free (Almost):

Wait…..there’s a logic here!! One might wonder why I’d do this. The answer lies in the exposure and potential sales that come with it. I provide hotels with high-quality prints, free of charge. This eliminates any upfront costs for the hotel, making it an enticing proposition for them.

2. Sharing Paper & Framing Costs:

To ease the financial burden, I propose a shared investment in the framing of the prints. By covering half of the framing costs, I not only show my commitment but also demonstrate the value of having professionally framed art on their walls.

3. Leveraging the Resident Audience:

Hotels in the Scottish Highlands host a diverse clientele, many of whom are drawn to the region’s natural beauty from all 4 corners of the world. By placing my prints in these establishments, I tap into an audience of travellers seeking memorable experiences. These residents are a captive audience, spending time in common areas where my prints adorn the walls.

The Why:

1. Attracting Art-Loving Guests:

Hotels strive to create unique and memorable experiences for their guests. By adorning their walls with my landscape photographs of the Scottish Highlands, they enhance the ambiance and appeal to art-loving patrons seeking a sensory connection to the locale.

2. Encouraging Sales and Souvenirs:

The real magic happens when residents take notice of my prints. These guests, inspired by the art they see, have the opportunity to purchase a print as a tangible memento of their Highland holiday. They can easily access my website or visit the hotel’s reception to acquire a smaller, mounted version of their chosen print. The hotel’s take no commission.

3. Driving Traffic to My Website:

Having my prints displayed in hotels acts as a silent salesperson, enticing guests to explore my online gallery. Whether they purchase immediately or bookmark my website for later, this strategy significantly boosts online traffic and conversions. This will extend to the other products I sell – eg Residential Workshops.

4. Creating a Win-Win Partnership:

The collaboration with hotels is a win-win. Hotels enhance their guest experience with visually appealing art at minimal cost. Meanwhile, I gain exposure to a targeted audience, leading to potential print sales, website visits, and a broader network of art enthusiasts.

The Proof Is In The Pudding

As a professional landscape photographer, my passion is capturing breathtaking scenery through the lens of my camera. Although I absolutely love this art form, I understand that in order for my business to thrive, it is essential to generate revenue. It’s not just about taking stunning pictures, but it’s also about the financial success of my business. That is why I am pleased to say that I am profitable. This method of advertising does work for me.  Therefore, it’s not just about making a profit, but it’s also about delivering an outstanding experience for each and every client. The old adage “the proof is in the pudding” certainly rings true, as the success of my business is reflected in my client’s satisfaction and my bottom line.


Results have been quite impressive since April 2, 2023 when I was commissioned to print 206 A2 Prints to adorn hotels throughout the Scottish Highlands. These hotels are found in places such as Isles of Harris & Lewis, South Uist, Colonsay, the iconic Kingshouse Hotel in Glencoe, Barra and and to be shortly exhibited at the Sligachan Hotel on the Isle of Skye. Over a span of five months, I have sold 14 A2 Prints from my website, 6 A3 Prints, 43 A4 Prints from the respective Hotel Receptions, two 1-2-1 daily tuition workshops at the cost of £295 a day, and one 7 day Residential Booking at a cost of £1995. This totals a revenue of £6995 which is only the starting point. None of the hotels take any commission from any sales. I anticipate increasing the number of galleries fourfold, over the next 12 months which could amount to an annual revenue of around £28,000. The success so far validates my decision to give away the Prints to the hotels in the first place.

Screenshot 2023-09-08 at 20.44.34

As a photographer, I feel passionate about providing value to my clients and audience.  However, I understand that these prints are not cheap to produce, and there are costs involved in each step of the process.

First and foremost, the obvious costs include the purchase of high-quality A2 printing paper and frames. However, as a Fotospeed Ambassador, I am lucky enough to have access to significant discounts on the paper. By purchasing the A2 Frames in bulk, I can reduce the costs per unit from a staggering £65 to a much more manageable £32, including VAT.

Moreover, it is important to mention that the costs are shared with the hotels where the prints will be on display. This makes the unit cost significantly lower, and ensures that both parties share the burden of production. Finally, there’s the cost of ink, which is a necessary but significant expense to ensure the high quality of the prints. Overall, these costs are well worth it in order to provide my followers with beautiful and high-quality prints.

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The Future

So, with an initial profit of around £2000 I am hoping that the profit margins for the work already done will increase in time. I aim to increase the galleries fourfold in the next 12 months and anticipate an annual profit to reach somewhere in the region of £8000 next year.

I have a very good relationship with a number of whisky distilleries in the Highlands and discussions are already under way to display permanent galleries one their wall space in their visitor centres. Along the same lines as the hotels.


In Conclusion

Transforming Scottish Highland hotels into art galleries has been a rewarding journey. By offering prints for free (almost), sharing the paper and framing costs, and strategically placing my artwork in these establishments, I’ve not only added value to their guest experience but also expanded my reach as an artist.Having my prints displayed in hotels is an incredibly effective marketing strategy. Not only do they add to the decor of the room, but they also act as a silent salesperson, enticing guests to explore my online gallery. The beauty of this tactic is that it’s passive – guests can choose to engage with my art or simply enjoy it without feeling pressured to make a purchase.

However, the impact of this practice should not be underestimated. By providing guests with an opportunity to see my art in person, I am increasing the likelihood that they will be interested in seeing more. This not only boosts online traffic to my website, but it also leads to an increase in conversions. This may and has already led to a 3 separate people within the past few months book workshops with me, both residential and 1-2-1 Tuition days.

Selling Prints is not easy and currently contributes a very small part of my annual turnover. Residential Workshops currently, as we speak, contributes to over 82% of my annual turnover.

However, this innovative partnership demonstrates the power of creativity, collaboration, and seizing opportunities in unexpected places. As travellers take home pieces of the Highlands through my prints, the beauty of this landscape continues to inspire art and adventure.

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