Photographer David Stoecklein has been intrigued with the great American West and the cowboy way of life since his childhood in Pittsburgh, PA when he would spend hours dreaming of riding the range alongside Hopalong Cassidy. Although a top commercial and stock photographer for the last 25 years whose assignments are varied and who travels worldwide, Stoecklein is particularly renowned for his color photography art, prints and posters which captures the working traditions, customs and culture of the contemporary cowboy.
Also a serious rancher and avid collector of Western cowboy collectibles, Stoecklein lives and works in Idaho’s Wood River Valley with his family. When not out on assignment or working in his studio, he has documented both the rugged landscape as well as the Idaho cowboy past and present. The narrative of a bygone era is recreated through his lens in an extensive series which explores the evolution of the working cowboy by detailing the saddles, spurs, hats, boots, bridles, chaps and other gear worn during the last 130 years. By photographing modern cowboys wearing and working in authentic gear in color and in motion on the open range, Stoecklein’s art, prints and posters has a dimension and texture which black and white vintage photographs cannot match.
Specializing in photographing both dramatic action and serene wilderness, Stoecklein uses a 35mm camera for flexibility in the field. Working alongside the cowboys in fog, rain, snow and intense heat and in terrain as varied as the mountains of Idaho to the mesquite brush country in Texas, his art, prints and posters document the challenges of the work and remarkable beauty of the workplace. Stoecklein’s work reveals a portrait of traditions unchanged and the legendary cowboy ethic of strength, honesty and integrity that remains the model for the American folk hero.