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: Harvest Christian vs. Westminster Christian, girls basketball

Feb 11 2016 | 9:55 pm - The Westminster Christian School girls basketball team hosted Harvest Christian in the Class 1A regional final game Thursday, Feb. 11, in Elgin.

Images: St. Charles North vs. Jacobs boys basketball

Feb 09 2016 | 8:35 pm - The St. Charles North High School boys basketball team hosted Jacobs on Tuesday, Feb. 9, in St. Charles.

Images: Groundhogs and Huskies means it’s Feburary

Feb 07 2016 | 1:45 pm - Ski jumping without snow adds to an interesting February Week in Pictures gallery

Runners earn their Super Bowl snacks at Geneva 5K

Feb 07 2016 | 5:40 pm - More than 700 runners earned the right to eat as much they wanted at Super Bowl parties Sunday after completing the 5,000 meters of the Super Shuffle 5K in Geneva. Proceeds of the Super Shuffle 5K benefit Geneva Park District’s scholarship...

Images: Elgin Academy vs. Christian Liberty girls basketball

Feb 04 2016 | 6:27 pm - The Elgin Academy girls basketball team hosted Christian Liberty Academy Thursday, Feb. 4, in Elgin.

Images: Grayslake Central vs. Hampshire girls basketball

Feb 03 2016 | 8:14 pm - The Grayslake Central Rams hosted the Hampshire Whip-Purs for girls basketball action on Wedneday, Feb. 3 in Grayslake.

Images: Hannah Frazier becomes career Batavia scoring leader in Bulldogs’ 65-58 win at Larkin

Feb 02 2016 | 8:52 pm - Hannah Frazier of Batavia became the all-time leading scorer for the Bulldogs in a 65-58 win at Larkin in girls basketball action on Tuesday, Feb. 2 in Elgin.

How soap box derby racing enhances life of special needs girl in South Elgin

Jan 31 2016 | 11:06 pm - Life hasn’t always been easy for Ava McCollim. Her father died of brain cancer, and she’s faced challenges including ADHD, epilepsy and autism. But the 8-year-old has found her peace and passion behind the wheel of a soap box derby car.

Images: Aurora Christian vs. Christian Liberty, girls basketball

Feb 01 2016 | 9:14 pm - The Aurora Christian School girls basketball hosted Christian Liberty Academy on Monday, Feb. 1, in Aurora.

Images: Cary-Grove vs. Carmel girls basketball

Jan 28 2016 | 8:28 pm - The Cary-Grove High School girls basketball team hosted Carmel High School on Thursday, Jan. 28, in Cary.

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