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: #TBT Gallery remembers spring 50 years ago

Mar 23 2017 | 11:17 am - For this week’s #TBT Gallery, we found 50-year-old negatives in our archives that reflect the hazards of kite flying, fun spring fashion and a couple of overturned cars that had had snow tires.

Even small animals part of home show at Kane County fairgrounds

Mar 18 2017 | 6:40 pm - Dale and Karen Feiden of Aurora are distributors for Pocket Pets, which sells tiny sugar bears as pets. They showed off the marsupials at the Chicago Home Show on Saturday.

Images: Fremd over Jacobs, 36-35(OT) in supersectional boys basketball

Mar 14 2017 | 10:13 pm - Fremd earned a trip to the Final Four in Peoria with an OT win over Jacobs, 36-35 in Class 4A supersectional boys basketball action on Tuesday, Mar. 14, at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.

Images: St. Viator falls to Fenwick, 65-36 in supersectional boys basketball

Mar 14 2017 | 8:38 pm - St. Viator fell 65-36 to Fenwick in Class 3A supersectional boys basketball action on Tuesday, Mar. 14, at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.

Images: Jacobs vs. Hononegah, boys sectional semifinal basketball

Mar 08 2017 | 10:10 pm - The Jacobs High School boys basketball team faced off against Hononegah in a Class 4A Elgin sectional semifinal game on Wednesday, Mar. 8, in Elgin.

Images: Larkin vs. Rockford Boylan, boys basketball sectional semis

Mar 07 2017 | 10:22 pm - The Larkin High School boys basketball team faced Rockford Boylan in a Class 4A Elgin sectional semifinal game on Tuesday, March 7 in Elgin.

Kane County Flea Market opens its 50th year

Mar 04 2017 | 5:31 pm - Bright sunshine balanced a cold wind as seasoned and rookie explorers sifted through the treasures at the first Kane County Flea Market of 2017 at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles Saturday.

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