In the course of apartment hunting in Taipei and now Kaohsiung, Steve and I have frequented Tealit.org, Kaohsiung Connect, and the all-powerful 591.com, which has listings in Chinese. The apartment quality has decidedly been of a mixed variety, since some are very old and shabby looking, but the location and cost go a long way to making up for it. However, aside from seeing some horrible apartments, we’ve also encountered some atrocious crimes against photography.
Great photos in an online listing can help you gloss over an apartment’s flaws or highlight its strengths. Bad photos, however, can put off prospective tenants, or worse, waste their time by making them laboriously puzzle out what the photo is actually of and where that furniture or wall is situated in relation to the other photos. It’s also exasperating because the number of faux pas seem innumerable and so easily avoidable: if you want to make your apartment look nice, photograph it during the day for maximum daylight. Stand still while taking a photo instead of dancing around. Don’t use flash directly in front of a window. Why is it so difficult to take a nice, wide-angled shot of a room? Even more landlords are preoccupied with giving you detailed photos of the bathroom sink from five different angles, what the hot water heater or laundry machine look like, and how many independent electric meters there are on the wall. All we want is to understand what an apartment looks like or would feel like to live in, and these photos have been so ridiculously unhelpful to that end that we felt the need to compile an album of the worst offenders.