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.

See his website
Follow him on Instagram
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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>>

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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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Follow them on Instagram
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Watch their YouTube channel
Chat with them on Twitter

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.

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Sephi has extensively documented traditions and rituals from various wedding ceremonies across India. This is showcased in the book Behind The Indian Veil.

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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.

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Horn Please: Trucking in India follows the nomadic lives and realities of truckers in India.

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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.

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Sephi’s travels to Kenya (2013) can be enjoyed in this series called iKenya, which he shot, and edited on an iPhone.

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Below is one of the scenes from a Royal Enfield motorcycle expedition in the Indian Himalayas.

Also mentioned in this episode
23 Hours to KillA Canticle for Leibowitz – Adam Sailor – Aghora: At the left hand of GodAghorisAlfred HitchcockAmbassador car – Amber – Analog photographyAndres SerranoAnsel AdamsArizonaASMRBengali wedding ritualsBetter PhotographyBlade RunnerCarlos CastanedaChakras & YogaChess – Conde Nast – Curlie’sDavid BowieDelhi Photo FestivalDevika Daulet-SinghElon Musk – Eva – Exodus from EgyptFacetimeFalafel (different types) – Glenn Richmond – Gordon HemptonGreenwich VillageJama MasjidJerry SeinfeldHyderabadi Muslim weddingIndiaIsraeli military – Israeli army knife – Israeli falafelJaffa – Jimmy Days – Josh Sailor – Kashmiri Pandit weddingLadhaki Buddhist wedding – Liah – LifeManhattanMarijuanaMick JaggerMosesNational GeographicNew MexicoNew YorkOld DelhiOld TestamentPharaohPita breadPiss ChristPoiPolaroidTriumph Over Polio (polio eradication drive in India)Prickly PearQuiet Parks InternationalRaëlianRiver NileRoger BallenSandro BotticelliScarfaceSex on the BeachShefi Carmi-BergersonSiddharth Dhanvant SanghviSikh wedding ritualsStreet food in IndiaSunaparanta Goa Center of ArtsSyrian Christian weddingTam Brahm wedding ritualsThe Big LebowskiThe Birth of VenusThe Good, The Bad, & The Ugly – The Leela Kovalam – The Teachings of Don JuanTraditional Indian attireUdaipurVada PavVogue quarantine photoshootsWoodburnsWorld Health OrganizationYellow badgeUNICEFZone-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
02:04:34 Education
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

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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

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