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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Rare spring plants a treat for hikers in Elgin

Apr 24 2016 | 4:45 pm - About two dozen amateur naturalists learned about a rich history hidden on Elgin’s east side Sunday during a wildflower walk through Trout Park. The preserve along the Fox River is home to plant varieties rare to the Midwest.

Heroes respond to a call at McHenry County Human Race

Apr 24 2016 | 4:53 pm - Several hundred superheroes responded to a call for help Sunday morning at the McHenry County Human Race’s “Get Your Hero On” at McHenry County College. Runners and walkers in the 5K — many dressed as their favorite...

Images: Peek inside the new Chicago Cubs clubhouse

Apr 12 2016 | 6:30 pm - Take a peek inside the Chicago Cubs’ new clubhouse at Wrigley Field in Chicago as part of a media tour on Tuesday. See Joe Maddon’s office as well as the expansive new locker area and lounge.

Images: Addison Russell powers Chicago Cubs to home opening win against the Cincinnati Reds

Apr 12 2016 | 12:11 am - See images from the Chicago Cubs’ 5-3 home opening win vs. the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field in Chicago Monday night.

Cold, hills not only challenge for Lake in the Hills runners Sunday

Apr 10 2016 | 4:37 pm - Despite 30 degree temperatures and cold winds that had most participants wearing multiple layers of clothing, runners enthusiastically took to the hilly terrain surrounding Lake in the Hills’ Woods Creek Lake on Sunday morning for the annual...

Images: Hillary Clinton in Vernon Hills Thursday

Mar 10 2016 | 11:34 pm - See presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at a campaign event at Sullivan Community Center and Family Aquatic Center in Vernon Hills Thursday rallying voters in advance of Tuesday’s primary.

Images: Kaneland falls to Rockford Boylan, 59-40 in boys sectional basketball

Mar 09 2016 | 10:26 pm - The Kaneland High School boys basketball team fell 59-40 to Rockford Boylan in the Class 3A Woodstock North sectional semifinals on Wednesday, March 9, in Woodstock.

Images: Jacobs falls to Rockford Auburn, 58-39 in boys sectional basketball

Mar 08 2016 | 9:58 pm - The Jacobs High School boys basketball team fell to Rockford Auburn 58-39 in the Class 4A Rock Valley College sectional semifinal on Tuesday, March 8, in Rockford.

Images: Jacobs over Larkin, 59-45 in boys regional basketball

Mar 02 2016 | 10:09 pm - The Jacobs High School boys basketball team bested Larkin 59-45 in the Class 4A South Elgin regional semifinal on Wednesday, March 2.

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