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April 20, 2011

Eagle-Tribune photographer honored by Pro Football Hall of Fame


"This is what I love," said Schwalm. "I enjoy every day. It's a dream job. I feel very lucky."

Speaking of feeling lucky, Schwalm said her "Hall of Fame" shot wasn't in the plans. In fact, to the contrary.

"In a lot of ways, I was out of position," recalled Schwalm. "I initially wanted get a spot on the sidelines of the end zone, but there wasn't any room. So I said, 'Aw hell, I'll curl around to the back of the end zone."

What happened next played to her strengths as a football fan. The Patriots trailed 27-24 in the fourth quarter and were on the 10-yard line, first and goal.

"I thought it would be a pass play," said Schwalm. "The only problem was I guessed the right side of the field. I had my short lens (camera) up, hoping the play would come to my side."

It did. And in retrospect, her position, relatively alone in the back of the end zone paid off.

She had a direct line of the pass play, from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to Hernandez.

"After the play, I knew had a unique angle," said Schwalm. "And the photographers on the sideline were too close to get the good shot."

When she turned in her photos immediately after the game, she realized she had a very good shot.

"One, Hernandez scored earlier in the game and he always reacts well after he scores," said Schwalm. "The fact that I got him waltzing into the end zone was great, but was even better because of the Packer on the turf in the background."

Schwalm receives a financial reward as well as an all-expenses paid trip to Canton for the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement festivities on Saturday, Aug. 6. She will be honored at the Enshrinees GameDay Roundtable, which will include Class of 2011 inductees - Richard Dent, Marshall Faulk, Chris Hanburger, Les Richter, Ed Sabol, Deion Sanders, and Shannon Sharpe.

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