City views from the roof of the Trump SoHo. Photos by Charissa Fay.

We sat down with AFAR Ambassador Charissa Fay for her tips on how to take better photographs, wherever you are traveling to next.

How long have you been interested in photography and how did you become a professional photographer?

I have been interested in photography since I was about 8 years old. My father, two uncles, and a close friend were photography enthusiasts, so I grew up with an appreciation for it. I practiced it only as a hobby until a few years ago, when I decided it was time to pursue my “dream job.” In the past few years, I’ve been very focused on building my portfolios (travel, lifestyle, and some documentary-style stories), launching my website and starting my freelance career.

What tips would you provide to someone looking to take better travel photos?

Do your research before you leave, especially if you have a tight shooting schedule. With online resources, you can really get a sense of the places you want to shoot, best times to go, interesting angles, and other aspects of the locations.  See if you can meet up with a local photographer for a photowalk. But just as importantly, travel with open eyes—be curious, get lost, take that extra turn on the street. Give yourself the freedom to capture what really speaks to your heart or tells a local story. And don’t forget to shoot the small details, which often capture the local flavor.

Are there any resources that you’d recommend to someone looking to become a better photographer?

I love Scott Kelby’s straightforward, approachable online videos; he covers lighting, processing, equipment, and more. The website photography.nationalgeographic.com has lots of community-shared shots, contests, and tips. PDN Magazine and pdnonline.com provide creative inspiration and have trustworthy equipment reviews. Digital-Photography-School.com also has very informative how-to articles, especially for beginners.

Who is the Tamron 16-300mm lens best for?

The Tamron 16-300mm lens is best for on-the-go photographers who shoot a wide variety of subjects and seek a multifunctional, easy-to-carry lens. If you love to go out and explore with your camera, but aren’t sure if you are going to shoot a landscape or zoom in on a detail that day, this is the lens to have in your bag—it captures everything from extreme wide angle to super close up images. The vibration compensation and large apertures generate clear shots, even in lower-light situations. It is a compact, versatile, well-priced lens.

Discover Charissa’s recommendations for capturing travel memories in New York City’s West Village with a Tamron 16–300mm lens.