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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South Elgin auto tech team puts on a show at library

Sep 16 2015 | 8:28 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 | 6:33 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 | 5:39 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 | 11:24 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 | 4:47 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...

Alarm, fire tucks no match for Easter egg hunt in capturing kids’ attention

Apr 05 2015 | 6:38 pm - If it had been any other day, the screaming fire alarm and giant red fire trucks would have meant something Sunday to the dozens of children on the lawn at Cardinal Drive Church of Christ in Rolling Meadows. But when there are 2,000 colorful Easter...

Algonquin dentist helps kids with free cleanings, screenings

Apr 02 2015 | 6:51 pm - Kids from from the Boys and Girls Club of Dundee Township received free cleanings and screenings thanks to the generosity of Dr. Timothy Stirneman and his assistants at All Smiles Dental in Algonquin.

Poets, authors help Grayslake Central celebrate writing

Apr 01 2015 | 4:31 pm - The third annual Writers Week at Grayslake Central High School was in full creative mode Wednesday as professional poets, authors and songwriters discussed their career journeys with students.

Elgin farmers market features unusual products

Mar 29 2015 | 4:51 pm - Some entire business seem built around the daunting mission of eliminating dandelions from grassy lawns. But on Sunday in Elgin, the much-maligned plant was a desired commodity on sale in pots and in necklace form at a free farmers market featuring...

Elgin coin show reaches out to next generation of collectors

Mar 29 2015 | 4:37 pm - The Elgin Coin Club’s Spring Show is mostly an veteran affair, drawing seasoned collectors on the hunt for specific coins to Moose Lodge 799 in Elgin. But mindful of the hobby’s future, show organizers awarded each child who visited...

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