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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Images: Bartlett vs. St. Charles North boys basketball

Feb 03 2016 | 8:52 pm - The Bartlett High School boys basketball team hosted St. Charles North High School on Wedneday, Feb. 3, in Bartlett.

American Grands XXI returns to Elgin Community College

Jan 30 2016 | 5:03 pm - Nearly 500 pianists of all ages and talent levels performed in American Grands XXI Saturday at Elgin Community College’s Blizzard Theatre Saturday during three performances.

Images: Burlington-Central vs. Montini girls basketball

Jan 29 2016 | 8:41 pm - The Burlington-Central High School girls basketball team hosted Montini High School on Friday, Jan. 29, in Burlington.

Images: Geneva vs. South Elgin boys basketball

Jan 26 2016 | 8:38 pm - The Geneva High School boys basketball team hosted South Elgin High School on Tuesday, Jan. 26, in Geneva.

Winter Walk showcases Fabyan Japanese Garden in Geneva

Jan 23 2016 | 5:23 pm - A Winter Walk program in the Fabyan Japanese Garden at Fabyan Forest Preserve in Geneva drew more than 25 visitors for a short tour of the historic grounds. Japanese Gardens are designed for all seasons, and looks partiularly striking in the winter.

Images: Marmion vs. Fenwick boys basketball

Jan 22 2016 | 8:43 pm - The Marmion Academy boys basketball team hosted Fenwick High School on Friday, Jan. 22, in Aurora.

Images: Hampshire vs. Sycamore girls basketball

Jan 19 2016 | 8:22 pm - The Sycamore High School girls basketball team hosted Hampshire High School on Tuesday, Jan. 19, in Sycamore.

31st annual Prayer Breakfast celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr.

Jan 16 2016 | 3:12 pm - Elgin Community College celebrated the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. during the 31st annual prayer breakfast Saturday.

Images: South Elgin vs. West Aurora boys basketball

Jan 15 2016 | 10:09 pm - The South Elgin High School boys basketball team hosted West Aurora High School on Friday, Jan. 15, In South Elgin.

‘Something for everyone’ at the Chicago Motorcycle Show in St. Charles

Jan 09 2016 | 7:28 pm - The 32nd Annual Chicago Motorcycle Show and Parts Expo continues through Sunday at the Pheasant Run Resort & Convention Center in St. Charles.

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