Laura Stoecker

Senior Staff Photographer
  • Phone(630) 728-8287
  • Emaillstoecker@dailyherald.com
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Laura Stoecker is a staff photographer covering Kane and McHenry counties. She has been in the field since 1994. She attended Columbia College Chicago where she earned a bachelor's degree in photography with a concentration in photojournalism.

During college, she freelanced for weekly suburban newspapers, an online prep sports magazine and other businesses. She had several internships including the Chicago Mayor's Office of Special Events and the United Way, before joining the Daily Herald in 1998.

Laura has received several awards from the National Press Photographers Association and the Illinois Press Photographers Association for her work over the years. The one she is most proud of is a 2005 Peter Lisagor Award for her four-part feature story on Luke and Zach Branson of North Aurora, twins with spastic cerebral palsy. Laura worked on the series for three years covering their daily lives with their family, as well as hyperbaric oxygen treatments in Florida, medical treatments, surgeries to help them walk, their road to recovery and seeing them walk with the aid of braces and a walker. She both wrote and photographed the story.

Nine months after Hurricane Katrina hit, Laura traveled with a reporter to Mississippi to cover restoration efforts of a church youth group on their spring break. Images from that project are still among the favorites in her portfolio today.

Beyond her work for the Daily Herald, Laura tries to make a difference in the communities she covers. She volunteers her time to many organizations in the Tri-Cities area, including Field of Dreams Horse Rescue and Adoption in St. Charles, the Autism Society of Illinois and Water Street Studios in Batavia. After doing a story on animal rescues from high-kill shelters, Laura now devotes time to helping find dogs and cats new homes.

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Full moon adds to Halloween spirit

Oct 30 2015 | 11:05 pm - A full moon graced suburban skies this week, if you were lucky enough to spot it through the cloud cover.

Sleepy Hollow celebrates Halloween

Oct 24 2015 | 10:44 pm - The annual Halloween in the Hollow returned to Sabatino Park in Sleepy Hollow Saturday.

BatFest celebrates Halloween in Batavia

Oct 24 2015 | 4:16 pm - Batavia BatFest returns to celebrate Halloween, and the costume contests are a big hit.

Fall Fest welcomes the season

Oct 17 2015 | 4:28 pm - Residents got to enjoy the autumn season during the Fox Valley Park District's Fall Festival at Red Oak Nature Center in Batavia.

Fall antiques show returns to St. Charles

Oct 17 2015 | 4:25 pm - Antique collectors are looking for rare items this weekend at the Chicago Suburban Antiques Dealers Association’s 41st annual Fall Fox Valley Antiques Show in St. Charles.

Harvest Hustle and Pumpkin Patch kick off fall in South Elgin

Oct 03 2015 | 5:18 pm - South Elgin kicked off its celebration of fall with the FUNdation’s 11th annual Harvest Hustle 5K, 7K Conquer Hustle Hill Run and 2 Mile Walk, followed by the city’s annual Pumpkin Patch and Fall Festival at SEBA/County Park Saturday.

Campton Township Prairie Fest held at Corron Farm

Sep 26 2015 | 5:28 pm - The Campton Township Prairie Fest was held on Saturday, drawing a continuous flow of people to the ninth annual event. Visitors took wagon rides through the prairie, toured of the historic 1850s Corron Family home and other buildings on the...

Seniors throw surprise birthday party for Elgin police chief

Sep 25 2015 | 3:13 pm - It was a surprise birthday party for Elgin Police Chief Jeff Swoboda Thursday, courtesy of the people at the Greater Senior Center of Elgin

Images: #TBT Gallery features historic Arcada Theatre

Sep 17 2015 | 5:30 am - This week's #TBT gallery features the historic Arcada Theatre in downtown St. Charles, built in 1926.

Colorful kites dot the sky in Geneva

Sep 05 2015 | 4:19 pm - Kites of all shapes and brilliant colors peppered the sky above Peck Farm Park in Geneva Saturday. The Geneva Park District and Chicago Kite hosted their annual kite festival where families could bring their own kites to fly or buy kites on-site.

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