John Starks

Staff Photographer
  • Phone(847) 769-4930
  • Emailjstarks@dailyherald.com
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John Starks has been a staff photographer with the Daily Herald since 1997. He worked for eight years in the Arlington Heights Office Center and currently calls the Elgin bureau his home base, although most shifts are spent working from his car.

Prior to the Daily Herald, he worked as a staff photographer for the Northwest Herald in Crystal Lake, The Lorain Morning Journal near Cleveland, and The Monroe Evening News in Michigan. The Evening News was one of the nation's last evening-delivered daily newspapers. He also worked as a staff writer for the Sturgis Journal in Michigan, covering police, county government, and features.

He started his career in the late 1980s shooting black-and-white film that was hand rolled, and hand processed. Prints were made in chemical trays in a darkroom. He was among the first newspaper photojournalists in the Chicago area to fully change all aspects of his daily work to digital.

He has covered three national political conventions and photographed every U.S. President since Richard Nixon, when, as fourth-grader on a family vacation, he pushed the button of his box camera as the disgraced president left the White House for the last time.

He considers coverage of the 1995 Major League Baseball World Series a highlight of his career. He also photographed Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls as they won the NBA Championship in 1998. He also covered each of the Chicago Bears, Blackhawks, White Sox and Cubs playoff appearances in the last decade. John was the on-site photo editor for the Daily Herald coverage team in 2003 when the famous Steve Bartman incident happened at Wrigley Field. He also traveled twice to New Orleans to cover the Hurricane Katrina devastation in 2005.

He has won more than 120 national, regional and state awards for news, features, sports, portraits, pictorials, sports portfolio, and nature photographs, as well as videography.

John graduated with a journalism degree from Central Michigan University. He is a member of the National Press Photographers Association and the Illinois Press Photographers Association.

He and his wife have two kids and own a children's book publishing company.

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items 1-10 out of 91

Shoppers seek the unique at Festival of Arts in St. Charles

Nov 22 2015 | 4:48 pm - The 200 indoor booths of handcrafted items by exhibitors from seven states was enough to keep shoppersbust Sunday at the Festival of Arts and Crafts in St. Charles.

Reading goes to the dogs at Dundee Library

Nov 08 2015 | 5:25 pm - Dogs, as it turns out, not only make great pets, but also great listeners. Young visitors to the Dundee Library in East Dundee found that out Sunday when the library held a Read to a Dog event.

Suburbs celebrate Day of the Dead

Nov 01 2015 | 6:42 pm - A day after marking Halloween with spooky costumes and scary tales, the suburbs turned its attention to the dead on Sunday with celebrations of the traditional Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.

South Elgin High automotive team ready for national competition

Oct 31 2015 | 12:49 am - Five South Elgin High School automotive students will compete at the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge Tuesday through Friday in Las Vegas. Competition participants will be eligible to win scholarships.

Elgin Academy alum creates basketball program to prepare youths for life

Oct 16 2015 | 4:26 am - Justin Anthony, an Elgin Academy alumnus, founded EPIC Hoopz to teach kids to be leaders. He uses competitive basketball to reach children elementary school age through high school, and encourages them to become productive citizens.

South Elgin auto tech team puts on a show at library

Sep 16 2015 | 7:28 am - The first Automotive Technolgy Exposition Tuesday afternoon in the Gail Borden Library parking lot drew several local show cars, a local racing team, and a competitive Engine Tear Down Team that is ranked 29th in the nation.

Suburban investors say they remain confident

Aug 24 2015 | 5:33 pm - Don’t panic. That was the approach of several people who spoke to the Daily Herald about the stock market roller coaster. Here’s what they had to say.

Grayslake man, dog attempt to break record

Jul 31 2015 | 4:39 pm - A Grayslake man and his dog attempted to break a Guinness World Record Friday during the Lake County Fair.

Meet the electrical engineer who powers his passion in South Elgin

May 18 2015 | 10:24 am - Jim Pechous has a passion for electronics and trains, and the two sometimes collide near a South Elgin cornfield. That's where Pechous, the electrical genius behind the Valley Model Railroad Club, fuels his passion by designing and maintaining a...

Elgin nature walk offers a lesson in history

Apr 26 2015 | 3:47 pm - About 30 people stepped back in time Sunday to explore a part of Elgin that progress has bypassed and dedicated naturalists have kept alive. The Friends of Trout Park nature group led 90-minute wildflower walks through the glacier gouged natural...

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