@webcentrick, a Twitter account with over 13,000 followers, began when an Iowa Athletics fan posted photos he had taken of the game from where he sat in the crowd.
“I’ve always been a season ticket holder,” said Dennis Scheidt, creator and publisher of the account. “My seats were down fairly low to the field, so I had kind of the same viewpoint as an on-field photographer.”
Scheidt said he began taking photos at Hawkeye sporting events in 2013. He originally bought 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 to gain traction.
“I started doing some edits of shots that I have taken, and I post those and people will be like ‘Wow, that’s really cool,'” he said. “I don’t think we really were doing a lot of edits and what you see today.”
Through a bit of networking, the traction eventually landed him a dream job.
Scheidt was first credentialed with online outlet Hawkeye Report in 2015, covering football and men’s basketball. His journey with the outlet began with Blair Sanderson, a writer for Hawkeye Report.
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“Blair is a guru of recruiting, and he had a lot of followers,” Scheidt said. “He followed me, and I noticed that when I was doing these kinds of simple edits way back when I was still sitting in the stands, he would like a lot of them.”
One day, Scheidt said he got brave and reached out to Blair, who connected him to Tom Kakert, the publisher of Hawkeye Report.
Kakert said he was already thinking of hiring a photographer before he talked with Scheidt.
“I had been thinking about adding a photographer, but I didn’t really have anybody,” he said. “I felt like that was always kind of a hole in what we did.”
When he’s not taking photos on the field, Scheidt works for a software company.
“‘Career’ is certainly probably inaccurate for what I do,” he said. “I’m purely a freelancer. I learned everything on my own. I have a separate career professionally, away from taking photos, but it’s definitely my passion.”
Brian Ray, University of Iowa athletics director of photography, said Scheidt was welcomed onto the field.
“We are pretty selective on who we let out in the field,” he said. “If a photographer or an organization is not being professional, we do bring that up with the people in credentials and let them know that maybe we shouldn’t be credentialing these people.”
Scheidt has good character, Ray said.
“He’s a great guy who did it the right way,” he said.
Ray said at the beginning of COVID-19, credentials for Hawkeye sporting events were limited to university photographers only. The university photographers used a platform called PhotoShelter to share images with media outlets.
“And what we were doing was, since we had the only access to the floor, we would take images and try to file them as soon as possible to an area,” he said.
Kakert said not taking photos was disappointing for Scheidt.
“I’ll tell you; it was hard on him not being there,” he said. “I know it was and they missed it, and I missed having him there.”