Editorial

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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Bug Fest in North Aurora celebrates the creepy and crawly

Aug 22 2015 | 5:38 pm - With nets in hand, the bug-loving Byrnes brothers trio from Aurora were on a mission to catch as many insects to investigate as they could as they walked through the Blue Sky Prairie Trail near the Red Oak Nature Center in North Aurora during Bug...

Images: #TBT gallery features Elburns Days from the 1980s

Aug 20 2015 | 11:26 am - This week's #TBT Gallery features Elburn Days over the years. The festival celebrates its 86th anniversary this year and is produced by the Elburn Lions Club. The festival runs August 21-23.

Giant water slide takes over Main Street in Algonquin

Aug 15 2015 | 6:23 pm - 1,000-foot waterslide takes over downtown Algonquin this weekend for the Slide the City event.

Golfers hit the links to benefit Schaumburg Park Foundation

Aug 12 2015 | 5:09 pm - Civic-minded golfers took over the Schaumburg Golf Course on Wednesday for the 8th annual Links Technology Cup, an 18-hole outing benefiting the Schaumburg Park Foundation. Funds raised by sponsors and golfers pay for recreation scholarships for...

New fully inclusive playground opens in South Elgin

Aug 08 2015 | 9:03 pm - The South Elgin Parks and Recreation Department hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony Satruday for S.E.B.A. Park, a fully inclusive regional destination playground.

Animals rule at McHenry County Fair

Aug 06 2015 | 7:36 pm - McHenry County Fair in Woodstock kicks off their second day with livestock judging and lots of rides for kids of all ages.

Carnival rides a hit at Coon Creek Country Days in Hampshire

Aug 01 2015 | 5:31 pm - Kids of all ages swarmed the carnival at the 32nd annual Coon Creek Country Days at Bruce Ream Park in Hampshire on Saturday, going on ride after ride, waving at their parents standing nearby.

Lifelong Elgin man credits barbershop singing with enhancing his life

Jul 27 2015 | 6:13 am - Back in 1953, Elgin High School senior Carl Missele joined a barbershop quartet. Fast forward 62 years and about 15 quartets later and the lifelong Elgin resident is still singing to his heart's content.

Huntley PAWFest celebrates 28,000 adoptions

Jul 18 2015 | 6:09 pm - Animal House Shelter in Huntley hosted PAWFest Saturday in celebration of their more than 28,000 adoptions to date and as a way to raise funds for the animals at the shelter.

‘Day in the Park’ brings together kids of all abilities in St. Charles

Jul 15 2015 | 4:54 pm - Kids playing together and having a good time is what the "Day in the Park" was all about. Hosted by the Fox Valley Special Recreation Association and St. Charles Noon Kiwanis Club, the event brought together more than 700 campers -- with and without...

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