A Marshall County native, Elkins worked for more than 40 years as a photojournalist, spending the majority of his career taking pictures for The Star.
He was hired in 1973 and retired from the paper in 2000. During his employment, he shot luncheons and laughing children, Ku Klux Klan marches and still-life portraits.
Many of his photo essays showed the “behind-the-scenes, down-home world of the rural South,” Martin said.
In 2005, Elkins published “Picture-Taker,” a collection of 100 of his images.
Five years later, he won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Alabama Press Association for his work.
Martin, a local artist and friend of Elkins for 40 years, said he and Elkins traveled around the South, looking for scenes and people to photograph and paint.
Martin doubts that anybody will record that traditional, farm-based life again.
“There’s been a lot of change,” he said. “There are still a few pockets of that traditional life. Sometimes I see some-body and say, ‘There’s a Ken Elkins picture.”