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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Images: Community, festivals and Pokemon Go

Jul 17 2016 | 9:20 pm - Pictures of the week gallery from our best photos at the Daily Herald

IMAGES: Everybody likes festivals and pictures

Jul 10 2016 | 10:55 am - The weather was perfect for so many summer festivals last week

Images: #TBT Gallery revisits Cooks of the Weeks

Jul 05 2016 | 1:26 pm - This week’s #TBT Gallery revisits our Cooks of the Week from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s.

Images: So many festivals, so much summer

Jul 03 2016 | 4:54 pm - It was a great week of festival fun in suburban Chicago

Images: More than two dozen towns are in the Week in Pictures

Jun 26 2016 | 4:09 pm - Cooling waters run through our Week in Pictures

Autistic young racer gets chance at world championship

Jun 23 2016 | 9:52 pm - Ava McCollim, a 9-year-old from South Elgin, will compete at the world championship of soapbox derby racing in Akron, Ohio.

Images: We chose these good ones to look at again in The Week in Pictures

Jun 21 2016 | 7:36 pm - Everything from Dragon Boats to Viking boats are highlighted this week

Images: The Week in Pictures

Jun 13 2016 | 5:59 am - You know it’s summer when The Week in Pictures gallery starts with kids with a face full of festival food

Images: Prep Sports Awards event wraps up school year

Jun 13 2016 | 9:48 am - Hundreds of suburban high school athletes and their parents attended the 4th Annual Daily Herald Prep Sports Excellence Awards at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates

Images: #TBT Gallery revisits suburban carnivals

Jun 08 2016 | 11:24 am - You loved them as a kid. Do you remember these rides at summer carnivals? For this week’s #TBT gallery, we take a look back at carnivals.

items 1-10 out of 177

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