Episode 082 – Sephi Bergerson | Author, Documentary photographer, & Founder of SILK Inspire
Sephi Bergerson is an international reportage and documentary photographer. Several years ago, he stumbled upon a chance opportunity to shoot a wedding, and has since been renowned in the Indian wedding photography scene. Sephi has also authored coffee table books that cover street foods, wedding traditions, polio eradication, and trucking, in India. He has won several awards at competitions across the world, for his work across a diverse portfolio.
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Listen to his journey from growing up and studying photography in Israel, and travelling the world, to now indulging in a bunch of personal photography projects that allow for spiritual explorations.
Sephi used the Facetime app to create portraits of individuals, couples, and families during the historic lockdown period through mid-2020. Read more>>
SILK by Sephi Bergerson is a specialty luxury wedding photography service offered by Sephi Bergerson and a curated team of freelance photographers. Discerning couples can commission him to capture memories of your big day in a candid and photojournalistic style.
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This evolved into the SILK Inspire, Asia’s premier photo confluence dedicated to wedding photography. Curated over three years between 2016 and 2018, it brought together world-renowned photographers for discussions, masterclasses, and networking.
Sephi has extensively documented traditions and rituals from various wedding ceremonies across India. This is showcased in the book Behind The Indian Veil.
Sephi ventured into the bustling and chaotic cities across the country, with food on his mind. He captured a delicious assortment of 50 street foods that are enjoyed in India. You can refer his book Street Food of India, for recipes and details.
Horn Please: Trucking in India follows the nomadic lives and realities of truckers in India.
Sephi was one among five professional photographers that were commissioned to show the strength of India’s polio immunisation campaign. He travelled to remote areas across the country to connect, capture, and share photo (stories) that would eventually aid in educating the masses about polio and its prevention. These are featured in a book titled Triumph Over Polio, produced by UNICEF.
Sephi’s travels to Kenya (2013) can be enjoyed in this series called iKenya, which he shot, and edited on an iPhone.
Below is one of the scenes from a Royal Enfield motorcycle expedition in the Indian Himalayas.
Also mentioned in this episode
23 Hours to Kill – A Canticle for Leibowitz – Adam Sailor – Aghora: At the left hand of God – Aghoris – Alfred Hitchcock – Ambassador car – Amber – Analog photography – Andres Serrano – Ansel Adams – Arizona – ASMR – Bengali wedding rituals – Better Photography – Blade Runner – Carlos Castaneda – Chakras & Yoga – Chess – Conde Nast – Curlie’s – David Bowie – Delhi Photo Festival – Devika Daulet-Singh – Elon Musk – Eva – Exodus from Egypt – Facetime – Falafel (different types) – Glenn Richmond – Gordon Hempton – Greenwich Village – Jama Masjid – Jerry Seinfeld – Hyderabadi Muslim wedding – India – Israeli military – Israeli army knife – Israeli falafel – Jaffa – Jimmy Days – Josh Sailor – Kashmiri Pandit wedding – Ladhaki Buddhist wedding – Liah – Life – Manhattan – Marijuana – Mick Jagger – Moses – National Geographic – New Mexico – New York – Old Delhi – Old Testament – Pharaoh – Pita bread – Piss Christ – Poi – Polaroid – Triumph Over Polio (polio eradication drive in India) – Prickly Pear – Quiet Parks International – Raëlian – River Nile – Roger Ballen – Sandro Botticelli – Scarface – Sex on the Beach – Shefi Carmi-Bergerson – Siddharth Dhanvant Sanghvi – Sikh wedding rituals – Street food in India – Sunaparanta Goa Center of Arts – Syrian Christian wedding – Tam Brahm wedding rituals – The Big Lebowski – The Birth of Venus – The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly – The Leela Kovalam – The Teachings of Don Juan – Traditional Indian attire – Udaipur – Vada Pav – Vogue quarantine photoshoots – Woodburns – World Health Organization – Yellow badge – UNICEF – Zone-system
Timestamps for reference
03:37 Woodburns Whisky
04:25 Sephi’s bartending and other adventures in New York
18:06 The seed of Sephi’s interest in photography
20:06 From analog to digital photography
24:49 Is it the art or the artist? Importance of working on personal projects
30:48 Shooting weddings in India
34:29 Documenting stories and photographs for the books
40:32 Street foods in India & in Israel – the book and more
49:55 Portraits of Lockdown, and remote photography
01:00:03 Is the party over for photography as a career?
01:04:54 Shooting for NGO projects
01:10:07 Learning about relationship while shooting weddings
01:13:45 Talking about religious rituals
01:19:15 Sephi’s project on religion
01:27:23 Other controversial works on religion
01:30:26 Having a diverse portfolio
01:36:09 Religion reprise
01:38:40 Random ASMR of drinking water
01:39:22 A bit about quiet spaces and nature
01:43:32 Is religion natural? Is it an organism?
01:51:43 Questioning stories in religious scriptures
01:55:24 Are humans being harvested?
01:58:03 Psychedelics, religion, and art
02:00:56 The Overview Effect
02:01:50 Understanding patriotism, geographical and social sentiments
02:03:43 Humans and animals respecting each other in this ecosystem
02:08:41 Sephi is still on a spiritual quest to find himself through photography
02:12:52 Sephi’s idea of spirituality
02:19:05 A little backstory about Nikhil Shankar
02:22:01 More conscious stuff, the five layers of yogic experiences
02:27:28 Talking about Roger Ballen
02:35:31 A case for more art to be in public spaces
02:43:00 SILK by Sephi Bergerson
02:46:29 Learning photography in institutions
02:48:40 Influences of being a photographer on family life and parenting
Show cover jingle courtesy of Icons8
Music by Nordgroove from Fugue
Episode background tunes courtesy of YouTube Audio Library
A Quiet Thought by Wayne Jones
Angel Guides by Jesse Gallagher
Fresno Alley by Josh & The Overtimers
Song of Sadhana by Jesse Gallagher
All photographs by Sephi Bergerson, unless otherwise stated.
Sephi’s black and white portrait by Joe McNally