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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Racing legend joins car collectors in St. Charles

Feb 22 2015 | 4:40 pm - Volunteers from three local car clubs worked together Sunday to bring the 24th annual Buick, Olds, Pontiac, Cadillac Swap Meet and Car Corral to the Kane County Fairgrounds. The sold-out event in St. Charles attracted more than 80 vendors selling...

A little old-fashioned fun in St. Charles

Feb 16 2015 | 5:45 am - Sunday's Fireside Fun event at the Durant House Museum in St. Charles showed that history has no age limit.

Bed frame saves couple after car crashes into S. Elgin home

Feb 08 2015 | 10:10 pm - A refrigerator, wooden dresser and sturdy bed frame were all that separated Carlo Panzarino and his wife, Mary Ann, from the two tons of speeding metal that came crashing into their South Elgin home early Sunday morning, but it was just enough.

Oh, no! Woodstock Willie sees his shadow

Feb 02 2015 | 10:02 am - Awakened by a polka band, Woodstock Willie emerged from his tree trunk home this morning and ... we are in for six more weeks of winter. The early-morning event drew a festive crowd of roughly 200 to the Woodstock Square the morning after a massive...

Winds force early end to Norge ski-jumping competition

Jan 25 2015 | 6:02 pm - Weather conditions have never forced the cancellation of the Norge Ski Tournament in the event’s 110-year history, but Sunday came close. Organizers were forced to cut the competition short Sunday as high winds — at times gusting over...

Economic thaw here means good things for Canada

Jan 11 2015 | 6:21 pm - Visitors and exhibitors say they saw signs of a recovering economy Sunday in a room sprinkled with mounted, stuffed fish. The All-Canada Show at Pheasant Run in St. Charles featured 200 exhibitors with displays pertaining to fishing, hunting,...

Moving Picture: Fox River canoeist finds joy in winter paddling

Jan 09 2015 | 11:52 pm - Seventy-year-old JB Livengood, of Lake in the Hills, loves to canoe the Fox River in Algonquin during the winter months. He has paddled for 50 years and Buffalo Park Forest Preserve in Algonquin is his favorite place to launch. “There’s...

Musician keeps audience of kids jumping

Dec 29 2014 | 5:13 pm - An all-ages concert with Joel Frankel was geared toward kids Monday at the St. Charles Public Library.

Train fans young and old check out Sun City holiday display

Dec 28 2014 | 5:54 pm - Crowds filled the Sun City Huntley Prairie Lodge on Sunday for their last chance to view this year’s model train holiday display hosted by Sun City residents and train enthusiasts. The Kishwaukee Valley & Eakin Creek Model Railroad Club...

Last-minute suburban shoppers finding it’s a breeze

Dec 24 2014 | 2:37 pm - Last-minute shoppers are finding it easy to navigate the malls on Christmas Eve.

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