“My name is Marcus Soriano and I’m from Texas. I move every year, but I’m currently in Dallas. My family moved a lot when I was younger so I’m just used to it at this point. I really like it too, it lets me experience more and it keeps me curious. Also, I feel like a nomad and I think that’s cool. It keeps life interesting and it keeps me creative.
I got into photography around the time I started watching good movies, so about 16-17. Movies really shaped the way I see the world, I constantly feel like I’m watching a movie rather than living in the moment. When it comes to my night photography shots, I really can’t pinpoint when it started. I’ve just always just loved the nighttime. Nothing makes life feel more cinematic than nighttime to me. It doesn’t feel like reality, it’s dripping in delusion and I want to show it to people.”
Movies and Dreams
“My photo inspirations are fueled by movies that I love; all my favorite scenes are at night. I aim for every shot I take to look like it’s from a movie that doesn’t exist, but it’s your favorite movie. I can name a few of my favorite movies that my shots are inspired by. ‘Drive’ is a huge one for me as well as ‘Only God Forgives’. Ryan Gosling made a movie called ‘Lost River’ and I’m in love with it. Sometimes when I’m driving around looking for a shot I’ll listen to the film score. Just to really drown in the feeling. I actually write down my favorite movies, songs, artists, etc. on a piece of paper or in my notes app often.
I really don’t know why I do it, it’s kinda therapeutic. The list helps me keep focused on what I’m trying to create. I should also mention the movie “Good Time”. It came out last year and it completely ruined my life. The way the Safdie brothers captured colored lighting and the excitement of nighttime really blew me away. I love when an artist reminds me why I do what I do. I left the theater and immediately went home to get my camera.
One of my dreams and goals is to be a filmmaker, which started in elementary school. Anytime someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up i’d say a director, actor, producer, writer. I love photography because it helps me tap into that dream. I don’t need to wait to have a story or a crew or a budget. I just go out and take the photo. The entire movie is in the photo and the best part is everyone sees a different movie based off their own life and what the photo makes them remember.”
When and Where I Normally Shoot
“Normally I like cities or small historic-like towns and the surrounding neighborhoods. I’ve enjoyed the idea of being able to ride your bike into town or going down an elevator to the corner store. As for what I’m looking for, anything that gives me nostalgia or looks romantic. It has to make me feel something upon looking at it. There have been so many u-turns I’ve had to make because something caught my eye at the last second.
The routine for shooting is waste a lot of gas driving around listening to the same 4 songs over and over and getting lucky with 6-10 shots then going home and editing them that night. I like to post them over the next 3-4 days because it forces me to go back out and get more shots.
I usually wait until after midnight to even pack my camera bag. I love being the only one out when I shoot. There are fewer pieces moving when it’s real late and the odds of having to expect the unexpected are smaller. It’s not exclusive though. I mean there’s been times I’ve shot around people and they usually leave me alone, but sometimes I’ll have someone come ask me what I’m doing like standing behind a big ass camera and a tripod doesn’t explain it enough. It’s also really hard to drive around a lot of cars while I’m darting my eyes around for something to shoot.”
“Oh man there’s so many, but Petra Collins is at the top of the list. Others are Neil Kryszak, Signe Pierce, Tom Blachford, Kate Ballis, KangHee Kim, Sinziana Velicescu, Patrick Joust. They all either have shown me a new way to look at the world or have further fueled my passion for night photography. Oh yeah Ian Howorth is deadly with the lens too.”
“Okay if all my photos were in a fire and I could only save one photo it’d have to be the red pool shot. It doesn’t have a name so I should probably name it something. Let’s call it “January 19th”. I took it in Los Angeles last year during the summertime. I would pass this hotel with a giant red neon sign (this was back when I was mainly shooting neon lights) that read “Safari Inn”. And every time I would pass it I would tell myself I’ll take it next time. Well next time came and I was coming home from Echo Park and the roads were pretty empty so I parked across the street and walked over. Immediately I was hit. Everything was stained in that red glow from the sign. It was so beautiful I even considered staying at the hotel for a night. I also wish the band Porches would use it because their album “pool” reminds me of the photo.
Sometimes when I see a really nice location I get really excited and do a small celebration like how golfers do. I think it’s my best photo and I took it on the phone I’m holding, it’s crazy. That photo plays music I’ve never heard before and gives me memories I didn’t experience. It makes me feel like I’m in love and I lost love at the same time. It also gives me a sense of mystery. Kind of like you just met someone exciting and they invited you to this secret underground party or something exclusive and it’s about to be the best night you’ve ever had.”
Projects and Plans for 2018
“I’m definitely going back to Los Angeles this year. I’m also visiting New York in the spring so I’m pretty hyped about that. I also intend to make a trip back to ATX now that I’m not shooting on my iPhone anymore. As far as projects go, I have a few ideas. This year I’m trying to say less and just do more things that make people notice. Now if I had to choose between Dallas or LA and which I preferred shooting in, by far it’d be Los Angeles.
This is so cliche, but there is seriously magic in the air, water, I don’t know where it is but it is definitely there. I can’t tell you how many times I wandered around LA just admiring the city. I spent an entire year there and I feel like I can remember every single day I lived there.”