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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Local food pantries benefit from shopping spree

Feb 17 2015 | 5:36 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 | 4:14 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 | 1:57 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...

St. Charles students get a kick out of competition

Jan 28 2015 | 6:07 pm - St. Patrick School in St. Charles hosts a "kindergarten kick" in honor of Catholic Schools Week.

Bald eagle program draws bird lovers to St. Charles

Jan 10 2015 | 7:51 pm - With a wingspan of more than six feet, bald eagles can be hard to miss. Yet few people realize that these magnificent creatures live among us on the Fox River. A large crowd of avian enthusiasts gathered to hear St. Charles Park District naturalist...

Little pirates visit Dundee Library

Dec 27 2014 | 4:54 pm - Three 6-year-olds aspiring to be pirates learned valuable sailing skills and popular pirate jargon during a special Pirate Crew program at the Dundee Library on Saturday. Led by their librarian captain Kristen Mohr, students learned how to read the...

Lazarus House Christmas dinner a community affair

Dec 25 2014 | 5:27 pm - More than 100 people gathered to share a meal, friendly conversation and holiday spirit, at Lazarus House’s annual community dinner on Christmas afternoon in St. Charles.

Illinois Brass Band performs Holiday Classics in St. Charles

Dec 20 2014 | 7:40 pm - The Illinois Brass Band presents Holiday Classics at Baker Memorial United Methodist Church in St. Charles.

Jingle Bell Jam back for second year at Elgin studio

Dec 20 2014 | 6:49 pm - Side Street Studio Arts hosted its second annual Jingle Bell Jam!, a day of music, featuring area bands and solo musicians in Elgin. The lineup of artists included a dozen acts representing genres such as rock, experimental and singer-songwriter.

Santa’s Little Helpers prepare for Christmas

Dec 18 2014 | 4:30 pm - Preschoolers make holiday gifts for their family in the Toddler Santa’s Little Helper Class at the Geneva Park District.

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