I’m often asked by various photographers in Taiwan for recommendations regarding photography resources around the island. Camera stores, studios, schools and galleries are not always the easiest to find, so for any Taiwan photographers or visitors to Taiwan who are in need of any of these, this is for you. The list is mostly geared towards Taipei as that is both where I live and where most people traveling will find themselves. If you have any recommendations that you’d like me to add from other cities, let me know and I’ll put them in. The Taiwan photography community, at least the English speaking one, is generally fairly close and most people at least know of each other. As such, I’m not going to be including any information of photographers here, although I do have plans for a future post that collects information about all the working pros and presents it in one place here.
By far the bulk of Taiwan’s camera stores are located in one area of Taipei city. The area covering Bo Ai Rd and Hankou St is often referred to as Camera St due to its wealth of camera stores. Here you’ll find dozens of stores all offering more or less the same thing at the same prices. If you’re shopping for a basic camera, popping into any of them will probably get you what you need. For those wanting something a little higher-end, here are three stores I’ve bought gear from in the past and can recommend. I’m just going to give the addresses because they don’t have English names on display. They do all have English-speaking staff however.
No. 2 Bo Ai Rd – 02 2381 6982. As well as new gear, this store also has a small range of used equipment.
No. 28 Bo Ai Rd – 02 2331 3202. All new gear here. They probably have a bias toward Canon but Nikon, Sigma etc are all represented.
No. 61 Hankou St. Mostly new gear here but they also have a couple of cases full of used gear.
No. 65 Hankou St. Darkroom chemicals and equipment and photographic paper for prints.
In the same area is JS Foto, a store that caters mostly to the used market. They don’t open on weekends so if you are looking for a used bargain, head down during the week.
Here is a Google maps link to the area with the above stores.
If you’re looking for studio gear, bags, tripods, grip and more, then Key Photo is the first choice of people throughout Taiwan. They don’t sell cameras or lenses but they do have everything else. They’re located at 5F No. 37 Dongxin Rd, Taipei in an office building above the Carrefour supermarket.
For gray market gear, the best choice is e-What. They have a large presence on Yahoo Taiwan auctions as well as two physical locations. The original store is just next to Zhishan MRT Station on Fuhua Rd and the newer store is next to Zhongxiao Fuxing MRT. A map showing both locations is on their website.
Finally for Taipei, if you’re looking to get prints made in almost any size, Jazz is the place to go. They’re located on Bade Rd Section 2 at number 433, between Fuxing and Dunhua.
Zhongzheng Road running west from the train station has a couple of stores across from each other. Kedah at no 158 has been in business for years and always gives good service. There’s a smaller store with no English name opposite.
On San Min Rd heading away from Taichung Park is another small store that carries a selection of new and used gear. Their phone number is 04 2224 8856. Check David Reid’s comment below for the rest of their details.
The biggest Taichung store is IK Cameras. They have a store at 48 Wenxin Rd Section 1 near the intersection with WuQuan Rd.
A Google map link with all three locations plotted is here.
I’m not as familiar with the stores in Kaohsiung and have never actually bought anything there although I have done some browsing. Most are clustered on Jian Guo 2nd Road between Fuxing 1st Rd and Minzu 2nd Rd’s. One that isn’t in that area and seems to have the most comprehensive range of equipment is located down near the Love River. Both locations are on this Google map but I can’t promise you that it’s as accurate as the Taipei and Taichung ones.
A lot of Taiwan photographers have opened up their own personal studios recently and a couple are available for rent depending on time and availability.
D Studio is located in Sanchong quite close to Sanchong Elementary School MRT Station. It has a choice of backdrops and is outfitted with Bowens lighting and modifiers.
First Zoom Studio is in Shilin a 5 minute walk from Shilin MRt and the world famous Shilin night market. This is predominately a video studio but they also have a set of Elinchrom lights and modifiers and choice of three backdrops for photographers.
Photography Lessons and Workshops
Taipei Photo School (run by yours truly) is the only regular photography school in Taiwan that holds classes and workshops in English. Individual and group classes, day long workshops and ongoing courses are all possible.
Down in Taichung, Henry Westheim of Asia Photo Connection runs occasional workshops in his personal studio.
Galleries and Cafes
Taiwan is light on when it comes to galleries specifically for photography. There are often shows held in one-off locations such as during a TEDx event, permanent galleries are rare. In Taipei, one of the longest running is TIVAC, the Taiwan International Visual Arts Center. Located in an alley behind Fuxing North Rd, they have regular revolving exhibitions. You can get all the information about the latest exhibitions via their Facebook page.
In the camera stores section above, I mentioned Jazz as a place to get prints made. They also have a small gallery on the second floor that features a changing roster of photographers. Jazz is located close to Tivac, at 433 Bade Rd Section 2.
Down south in Kaohsiung you can find Camera Coffee. This is a cafe run by a commercial photographer and features exhibits on its walls. It’s a favorite haunt for photographers in the southern regions. You can find Camera Coffee at 33 MinQuan St, Kaohsiung City. It’s open from 2pm until 11pm.
In Tainan, the Fotoaura Institute of Photography located at 2F 83 Chenggong Rd has gallery shows and some classes.
Another one of my initiatives is Taipei Photo Tours. Customized photography tours that are designed specifically for your interests and lasting anywhere from a couple of hours to a few days. These are available to photographers of all skill levels and interests and can be photography lessons if desired.
I will maintain this page as an expanding resource as I learn about more things or have additional recommendations. If there’s anything you think should be included, let me know. You can find my contact details at the top of the page. I hope this will prove useful to all Taiwan photographers.