Finger Lakes Art Council: Auburn photographer has an eye for the extraordinary | Lifestyles

Kat Alexander special for the citizen

If you’ve seen the popular “You Know You’re From Auburn, NY if…….??????” Facebook group, then you’ve seen Todd Tanner’s work. His gorgeous photography of mist rising through the trees above a scenic, flooded pool of water enhances the band’s homepage.

Tanner’s ability to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary is the gift he uses to create his art. Even during his interview for this article, he was struck by the reflection of the American flag on the windows of a parking lot and knew he had to capture it.

An Auburnian since 1994, Tanner only picked up his Canon PowerShot camera nine years ago. Previously, his wife had been behind the camera for all their vacations and family gatherings, but he was the one running the show. After years of telling him how to frame that sunset or that tree, she finally handed him the camera and said, “You do!

Photography is not a career for Tanner – not yet anyway. He’s a supervisor at Mackenzie-Childs, but in his spare time he spends 15-16 hours a week taking photos, plus extra time editing them. When asked if he sees it becoming more than a hobby, he said he hopes to pursue it full-time after retirement. That’s not to say he hasn’t already profited from his photos.

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After posting several of his local snaps to the Facebook group, he was contacted by Teresa Hoercher of the Auburn Postcard Project, which showcases memorable places in Auburn through photographs and related information on postcards. Tanner’s photos of Auburn’s historic landmarks fit perfectly into Hoercher’s designs. Hoercher and Tanner have even been spotted together at the Finger Lakes Art Council’s most recent event, the Holiday Festival of Creative Arts, selling sets of postcards and framed prints of Tanner’s work.

Tanner has only considered himself an artist for six years. He recalled a story of buying a SanDisk memory card from Walmart for his camera. The clerk at the counter asked him if he was sure he was getting the correct one. Tanner insisted he was. The employee continued to question him, until Tanner assured him he was positive, as was his Canon PowerShot. The employee then asked him, “Have you seen the guy on Facebook, Todd Tanner?” to which he nodded and handed over his debit card. The employee was floored when he read the name on it. “You are a walking advertisement for Canon PowerShot! he said to Tanner, calling him.

When someone asks Tanner to photograph his property or a particular location, he says it’s always “a thrill and a complete honor.”

Tanner’s love for photography goes beyond capturing the perfect shot.

“We live in such a beautiful area. We’re so lucky to live in the Finger Lakes,” he said.

Taking pictures taught Tanner to slow down and appreciate the world around him. Through his art, he sees and captures moments he would otherwise take for granted.

“I became a better person,” he said.

Todd Tanner is on Facebook at “Ordinary Mystical Photography by Todd Tanner”, Instagram @toddtanner7876 and

The Finger Lakes Art Council would like to congratulate Board Member Sandy Shutter on winning the Phyllis Goldman Encouragement Award, presented by the Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce and named after a woman who inspired d other women to pursue a career in business. To be eligible for this award, nominees must have acted as a role model for women and girls pursuing their career dreams, demonstrated significant entrepreneurial leadership in a for-profit business, owned a business that has demonstrated of “stamina” and a positive response. faced adversity in a changing business environment, and demonstrated community involvement and commitment to community projects related to women.

Kat Alexander is a board member of the Finger Lakes Art Council. For more information, visit

Norma D. Ross