Football 2

John Starks

Staff Photographer
  • Phone(847) 769-4930
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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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Bikers (and Santa) rally in Elburn for charity

Oct 12 2014 | 4:30 pm - Dressed as Santa Claus among a sea of black leather and denim, David Wyman was an obvious target Sunday. “I can’t tell you how many photos I’ve been in today,” the Katy, Texas man said as he posed with another group of...

Meet cup stacking extraordinaire from Libertyville

Oct 03 2014 | 3:06 pm - Libertyville fifth grader Trevor Jean is continuing the family legacy of championship cup stacking at Butterfield Elementary School in Libertyville. His oldest brother was a member of the original cup stacking club and his other brother was school...

Rare, historic autos come to Geneva

Aug 24 2014 | 9:56 pm - More than 200 of the finest and rarest antique, classic and exotic automobiles from around the Midwest lined Third Street in Geneva on Sunday for the 10th annual Geneva Concours d’Elegance car show. Among them was a shiny black car with not...

Moms, daughters compete in McHenry fair look-alike contest

Jul 31 2014 | 9:36 pm - Never was a mother’s love for her daughter more evident than Thursday night at the McHenry County Fair when 20 mom/daughter teams crowded the Hansen Pavilion stage for the Look-Alike contest. The top three duos won cash prizes.

Teen bands battle for prime gig at Algonquin Founders’ Days

Jul 27 2014 | 6:47 pm - Five teen bands from Chicago and the suburbs hoping for a chance to play at the Illinois State Fair took to the stage at Algonquin Founders’ Days for the regional finals of the Illinois Teen Battle of the Bands. The competition was among the...

72 try to stay afloat in Algonquin cardboard regatta

Jul 24 2014 | 9:15 pm - When it comes to building and racing a cardboard boat, they keep it simple in Algonquin. The annual Founders’ Days Cardboard Boat Regatta started Thursday afternoon at Riverfront Park on the western shore of the Fox River, with all 72...

Sherman Hospital’s 126th anniversary honored with marker

Jul 08 2014 | 1:04 am - Advocate Sherman Hospital dedicated a historical marker at its Center Street campus in celebration of the hospital's 126th anniversary. The hospital opened its doors on July 7, 1888, in a two-story house donated by local drug store owner and...

Junior sleuths hard at work at McHenry County College

Jul 09 2014 | 4:51 pm - CSI campers worked on analyzing fingerprints and hair strands as part of the Introduction to Forensics and Biometics class this week at McHenry County College. More than 100 students in grades one through nine are participating in MCC’s Kids...

Elgin mayor, chef, show kids joy of healthy eating

Jul 03 2014 | 4:54 pm - A hot dog's OK ... as long as it has healthy sides. Elgin Mayor David Kaptain and local chef Quincy Owens demonstrated that at Thursday’s Downtown Elgin Harvest Market. The pair made "patriotic" fruit kebabs with blueberries and raspberries.

Elgin historian documents local soldiers

Jul 03 2014 | 2:20 pm - More than 620,000 soldiers lost their lives in the Civil War. One local man has given new life to the ones who hailed from Elgin. It took Elgin historian Ken Gough nine years to document the more than 3,200 men and women who volunteered for their...

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