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A Way With People


While documenting the contemporary West is Stoecklein’s personal mission, it’s this work that led him to more assignments for companies like Jeep®, Chevrolet, Marlboro, Ford, Remington, Bayer Pharmaceuticals and Wrangler, among others.

He uses long lenses for most of his work, mainly a 70-200mm and 400mm. He does some wide-angle portraiture, but generally uses telephoto focal lengths to allow a little breathing room between himself and his subject, and keep the atmosphere relaxed. He’s known for his ability to harness light during those brief magical hours immediately after sunrise and before sunset when the sky is filled w
ith ambient light that delivers breathtakingly beautiful colors and hues. Strong use of light and a keen understanding of the impact of color temperature add a sense of drama to Stoecklein’s portraits, which often look like they were taken straight out of the Old West.

Lighting and story are the key elements of any great photograph.

“Lighting and story are the key elements of any great photograph,” he says. “An environmental portrait really is just like any other photograph. The first thing is, it has to convey an emotion and tell a story.”

To see more of David Stoecklein’s work, visit



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