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Chris Hankins

Assistant Director of Photography/Fox Valley

Chris Hankins was appointed Assistant Director of Photography/Fox Valley in 2007 after serving as Elgin bureau photo editor for two years. He oversees the day-to-day operations of the newspaper's photo coverage in the Fox Valley area, including managing a staff of four photographers. He works with reporters and editors in the Elgin bureau to maximize photo coverage for news and sports, and to organize photo assignments for the staff photographers. He serves as the photography internship coordinator, and serves on the social media committee.

Before coming to the Daily Herald in 1996, he was chief photographer the Journal-Standard in Freeport, Ill.

He has won numerous awards for his photographs though the Illinois Press Photographers Association and the National Press Photographers Association, as well as The Associated Press and Chicago Headline Club. While a photojournalism student at Michigan State University, he was named College Photographer of the Year by the Michigan Press Photographers Association and placed seventh in the nation in the annual Hearst Photojournalism Competition.

He considers himself lucky to have been a part of covering some major news and sports events in the Chicago suburbs during his career so far, including the Chicago Bulls playoff runs in the mid-1990s, the White Sox during their World Series run in 2005 and the Chicago Bears 2007 Super Bowl appearance in Miami. He also traveled to Mexico in 2003 with two reporters to report on a series of issues facing Mexican immigrants to the suburbs. But he is most proud of the piece he wrote and photographed involving a St. Charles couple who struggled to conceive their first child. He documented the couple's struggles and triumphs for five years and was eventually present at the birth of their son. The story appeared over two days in the pages of the newspaper, and led to a lasting connection with the couple, who now have three young boys.

In his free time, he enjoys cycling, running and downhill skiing. He lives in Roscoe, Ill. with his wife and two daughters.

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Downtown St. Charles gets spruced up for the holidays

Nov 18 2013 | 4:26 pm - Volunteers set up a holiday display in the large window at the St. Charles Municipal Center Monday in donwtown St. Charles. The city is gearing up for the Holiday Homecoming and Electric Christmas Parade next week.

Sun-Times photographer talks about being laid off

May 30 2013 | 3:31 pm - Sun-Times Media, parent of the Chicago Sun Times and several suburban newspapers, eliminated 20 to 30 photographers from its staff. After a one-minute speech, the photographers were led out the door. "How am I going to afford kids, everything else?"...

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