Mr. Tarmy’s Lucky First Shot

After spending most of his life in Florida, Noel Tarmy’s passion for photography has brought him up to Newport News, Virginia, where he is a first-year photography teacher here at Menchville.

Mr. Tarmy first fell in love with taking pictures when, as a 12-year-old in eighth grade, he joined an extracurricular photography class because he heard it was easy. This photography class was not as easy as he had hoped, but it forced him to make and learn from his mistakes, which further ignited his love for being behind the camera.

As previously mentioned, Mr. Tarmy’s love for photography is what brought him here to Virginia. Before coming to Menchville, Tarmy served as an area manager at an art studio in Newport News. While there, he continued to grow as an artist and developed a social media presence on Instagram, @noeltarmy_photography, where you can view many of the photographs he has taken.

After learning about Mr. Tarmy’s background and where his love for photography came from, I asked him some rapid-fire questions to see how he was enjoying his first year at Menchville, and what his life was like outside of the classroom.

What should a student do if they have an interest in photography?- Take my photography class and pay attention to what I’m teaching.

What made you decide to teach Computer Art Digital Photography at Menchville?- I’m in the middle of a life shift right now, and my career is in that process as well. I decided to try out being a sub to see if I liked teaching and if I wanted to switch and pursue it. They told me this position was open, and I shot for it, and I got it. I had no intention of doing this, I had zero plan on saying I want to be a computer art photographer, but I did have a plan on coming back to teach high school photography.

Do you enjoy teaching the Monarch students?- Yes. I enjoy teaching anybody who wants to learn. That’s a good way to phrase it, because there are some kids that don’t want to, and I don’t enjoy teaching them. Now, just because I don’t enjoy it doesn’t mean I don’t take satisfaction from it, because if I can take one of the kids that have their head down all day, and turn them into a budding artist, I definitely did my job, and I can definitely look at myself in the mirror and be proud of what I did.

What would you say your class is all about?- The beauty of chaos which I call photography. Photography is beautiful chaos because there are always changing variables and there’s never the same situation the exact same way, you can try to mimic it but you can’t, it’s always gonna be somewhat different.

What do you do in your free time?- Take pictures. I [also] golf, and I love bowling.

Do you have any pets?- No, I have two daughters and that’s plenty!

What’s your favorite piece you’ve done and what’s its name?- Iwo Jima. That one was done with film, so it’s not digital photography, but that’s my favorite piece.

Do you have any artists who inspire you?- Yes, [for] portraits, Annie Leibovitz, anything for her as far as portrait photography goes, Robert Frank for as far as street photography goes, [and] Peter Lik for landscapes and nature.


Mr. Tarmy can be visited all day here at Menchville in room 304, where he shares his passion for photography with any and all students who are willing to learn.