Laura Stoecker

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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15,000 eggs up for grabs at Mooseheart Easter egg hunt

Mar 28 2015 | 4:05 pm - Mooseheart Child City & School’s fifth annual Easter egg hunt on Saturday morning featured 15,000 plastic eggs sprinkled on the field for four different age groups eight and under, allowing for everyone to have plenty of eggs and other...

Lauren Tarshis visits Ferson Creek Elementary

Mar 25 2015 | 5:24 pm - Children's author Lauren Tarshis visited students Wednesday at Ferson Creek Elementary School in St.Charles.

Meet the Elgin woman who went from an engineer to ballet dancer

Mar 24 2015 | 9:57 am - Ruffled red skirts swirl in huge circular patterns on the dance floor, creating a feast for the eyes as well as a strong breeze. Every few seconds between the double swirls you can catch a glimpse of the bright eyes and beaming smile of Cynthia G.

Arcada Theatre organ plays once more before restoration

Mar 23 2015 | 5:40 am - The dulcet tones of the Arcada Theatre's 3/16 Marr Colton/Geneva pipe organ filled the historic venue Sunday during a free concert hosted by The Chicago Area Theatre Organ Enthusiasts. It was the organ's final performance before work begins on a...

Chicago Home Show about more than just remodeling

Mar 21 2015 | 8:00 pm - The Chicago Home Show returned to the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles Saturday to help homeowners gather ideas and jump-start new projects. “I like to have a surprise around every corner,” said Peggy Ruh, president of The Home...

All-American Soap Box Derby in St. Charles a family affair

Mar 22 2015 | 6:44 pm - Nearly three dozen racers from the suburbs and as far away as Indianapolis and Des Moines, Iowa, gathered at The Quad in St. Charles this weekend for the Greater Chicago Soap Box Derby Association’s indoor All-American Soap Box Derby.

Carpentersville dodgeball tourney a fun time for charity

Mar 07 2015 | 6:32 pm - The 5th annual Dodgeball Tournament at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville raised funds to combat Muscular Dystrophy again this year

Local food pantries benefit from shopping spree

Feb 17 2015 | 6:36 am - The Kane County Farm Bureau's annual Checkout Challenge was a win-win for local food pantries thanks to state Reps. Keith Wheeler and Steve Andersson.

Event in Elgin brings attention to domestic violence

Feb 16 2015 | 5:14 pm - More than 100 men and women wearing bright red scarves gathered in the rotunda entrance of the Gail Borden Library in Elgin Saturday for the third annual One Billion Rising for Justice: The Long Red Line to show their support of victims of domestic...

‘Wizard’ visits Huntley school during Children’s Dental Health Month

Feb 11 2015 | 2:57 pm - Dr. Timothy Stirneman, of All Smiles Dental in Algonquin, wants to teach children not to be scared to go to the dentist. Twenty-two years ago he wrote and directed a short play, the "Wizard of Teeth," during which he teaches kids all they may face...

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