Hawkeye fan discovered, credentialed for photography after Twitter pull

Dennis Scheidt went from a Hawkeye fan to an official photographer with the Hawkeye Report for six years after his Twitter account gained traction.

Jerod Ringwald

Dennis Scheidt, freelance photographer for Hawkeye Report, takes pictures during a men’s basketball game between Iowa and Michigan State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022. The Hawkeyes defeated the Spartans, 86-60.

@HawkeyeImages, a Twitter account with over 13,000 followers, began when a Hawkeye fan posted photos he took from the game of where he was sitting in the crowd.

“I’ve always been a subscription holder,” said Dennis Scheidt, the account’s creator and publisher. “My seats were quite low in relation to the pitch, so I had a bit of the same view as a photographer on the pitch.”

Scheidt said he started taking photos at Hawkeye sporting events in 2013. He originally purchased quality camera gear to photograph his daughter’s show choir competitions.

Scheidt used a photo-editing app called Snapseed, and said that’s when his Twitter started gaining traction.

“I started doing some montages of photos that I took, and I’m posting them and people are going to be like, ‘Wow, that’s really cool.’ I don’t think we were really doing a lot of editing and what you see today,” he said.

Through a bit of networking, the pull eventually landed her a dream job.

Scheidt was first accredited with online outlet Hawkeye Report in 2015, covering football and basketball. His journey with the outlet began with Blair Sanderson, a writer for Hawkeye Report.

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“Blair is a recruiting guru and he had a lot of followers,” Schedit said. “He followed me around and I noticed when I did these kinds of simple edits a long time ago, while I was still sitting in the stands, he liked it a lot.”

One day Scheidt said he grew brave and contacted Blair, who put him in touch with Tom Kakert, the publisher of Hawkeye Report.

Kakert said he was already considering hiring a photographer before speaking with Scheidt.

“I had thought about adding a photographer, but I really didn’t have anyone,” he said. “I felt like it was always kind of a hole in what we were doing.”

When he’s not taking photos in the field, Scheidt works for a software company.

“‘Career’ is definitely probably inaccurate for what I do,” he said. “I am purely independent. I learned everything on my own. I have a separate professional career away from taking pictures, but it’s definitely my passion.

University of Iowa sports cinematographer Brian Ray said Scheidt was welcomed onto the field.

“We’re pretty selective about who we let out on the pitch,” he said. “If a photographer or an organization is unprofessional, we talk about it with the accredited people and let them know that maybe we shouldn’t certify those people.”

Scheidt has a good character, Ray said.

“He’s a great guy who did it the right way,” he said.

Ray said that at the start of COVID-19, credentials for Hawkeye sporting events were limited to college photographers only. University photographers used a platform called PhotoShelter to share images with the media.

“And what we were doing was, since we had the only access to the ground, we were taking images and trying to drop them into an area as soon as possible,” he said.

Kakert said not taking pictures was disappointing for Scheidt.

“I’ll tell you; it was hard for him not to be there,” he said. “I know it was and they missed it, and I missed it from l ‘have there.’

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