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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Images: It was a week for driving around and shooting pictures of life

Jan 08 2017 | 8:01 pm - Our photographers had a little time to look for feature photos last week and this is what they found

Images:The holiday’s bring out the best in people in The Week in Pictures

Nov 27 2016 | 7:01 pm - Our photographers found turkey hats, Santa Claus and holiday lights to make this an entertaining week in pictures

Images: Friday Night Holiday Happenings in the Suburbs

Nov 25 2016 | 8:53 pm - See holiday festivities including tree lightings and visits with Santa in the suburbs of Chicago on Friday, Nov. 25, 2016.

Images: If a 250-year-old tree falls in Naperville...

Nov 20 2016 | 10:55 pm - Our staff photographers found snakes, holiday lights, a broken bridge and a 250-year-old tree last week

Images: Vernon Hills vs. Sycamore Class 5A semifinal football

Nov 19 2016 | 6:22 pm - The Vernon Hills Cougars faced the Sycamore Spartans in Class 5A football state semifinal football action on Saturday, Nov. 19 in Sycamore.

Images: Prelims at the State Final Meet in Girls Swimming & Diving

Nov 18 2016 | 8:03 pm - See action from prelims of the State Final Meet in Girls Swimming & Diving at Evanston Township High School on Friday.

Images: Santa Claus makes his first appearance in The Week in Pictures

Nov 13 2016 | 9:03 pm - Santa Claus makes his first appearance in The Week in Pictures

Images: Chicago Cubs' World Series victory celebration

Nov 05 2016 | 7:29 am - Images from the Chicago Cubs' World Series victory celebration Friday at Grant Park.

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