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Your money wedding photography pushes the limits of novelty

´╗┐(The author is a Reuters contributor. The opinions expressed are his own.)By Mitch LipkaMay 19 Recording Amanda Bortzfield's wedding last summer at the Breakers resort in Palm Beach, Florida, was no simple - or cheap - task. Still photography and video added up to more than $23,000, not far off the average total cost for a wedding in the United States."The end results far surpass anything I could have imagined," says Bortzfield, 27, whose overall wedding costs were significantly more than average, to say the least. Her photography package included a two-and-a-half hour feature film and an elaborate collection of still images, all aided by the use of a drone. (A nearly four-minute trailer of the film posted on Miami-based wedding filmmaker Ray Roman's Facebook page has nearly 18,000 views ( The wedding photography business, including video products, is continually pushing the limits. Photographers say they must do more, better, or be distinctly different than rivals because the field is crowded and they have to separate themselves from the pack. That now increasingly includes using equipment mostly used for adventure sports and spy surveillance - drones, tiny GoPro Inc video units that can also capture time-lapse images, 3D rigs and remote cameras."When it comes to videography, nothing beats having aerial footage," says Brad Merriman, a wedding videographer based in San Francisco. "Even if you have a jib crane, it's still not going to do what a drone does."

COSTS AND OPTIONS The price to have a professional capture your wedding has a broad range, generally from $1,500 to about $15,000 just for still images. An edited video used to be considerably less expensive, but now new devices are pushing up costs. Rates are typically similar to the $2,700 Merriman charges for six hours shooting video, including aerial shots from a drone.

Bortzfield's video topped out at $12,500 because of the length of the edited video and the complexity of the shots. Massachusetts wedding photographer Glen Cooper says there is a difference between fads and actual advancements in the field. It was not that long ago, he notes, that the Jurassic wedding was all the rage, using photoshopped images of dinosaurs chasing the wedding party. He wasn't a fan. Cooper says that, while some clients have asked about drones, none have chosen a different photographer just because that is not something he offers. Instead, he says, they are impressed with the low-tech aerial shots he gets with a remote-controlled camera that can be mounted with suction cups, attached to a monopod and held overhead, or hooked onto a decoration. He uses his iPhone to see through the viewfinder and take the pictures."It's similar to a drone, but you don't have to worry about flying anything," he says.

New York City wedding planner Viva Max says it is a buyers market when it comes to photography gimmicks. Long gone are disposable cameras on every table. One popular addition is a photo booth. Options range from a traditional booth, to one that can shoot slow-motion video, to booths that create old-fashioned flip-books that make sequential still photos look like they are in motion. In many cases, souvenirs are generated on the spot and given as favors. Standard booths rent for $1,000 to $2,000, with the fancier ones such as those using slow-motion going for up to $5,000. Some wedding photographers include gadgets in their pricing, and use the footage to enhance their offerings. Photographer Kristin Griffin offers 3D images that you can see through an old fashioned View-Master. Each couple gets a complementary View-Master with a seven image wheel, but extras cost $100 per View-Master and another $50 per wheel."Everyone has different priorities," says Griffin, who is based in Massachusetts, but has shot weddings in 11 states. "How much are you going to watch ; var median = (relatedItemsTotal / 2); var $relatedContentGroupOne = $(' ul'); var $relatedContentGroupTwo = $(' ul'); $.each($relatedItems, function(k,v) { if (k + 1 = median) { $relatedContentGroupOne.append($relatedItems[k]); } else { $relatedContentGroupTwo.append($relatedItems[k]); } }); } else { $('.third-article-divide').append($('div class="related-content group-one"h3 class="related-content-title"Also In Market News/h3ul/ul/div')); $('.related-content ul').append($relatedItems); } },500); } Next In Market News BRIEF-Metallic Minerals acquires additional properties in Keno Hill * Metallic Minerals Corp acquires additional properties totalling 43.5 square kilometres in the Keno Hill Silver District Of Yukon, Canada BRIEF-Boeing, Travel Service finalize order for five additional 737 MAXs * Boeing, Travel Service finalize order for five additional 737 MAXs BRIEF-Arthur J. Gallagher & Co buys chicago-based Gruppo Marcucci LLC * Arthur J. Gallagher & Co acquires Chicago-based Gruppo Marcucci LLC MORE FROM REUTERS window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'organic-thumbnails-a', container: 'taboola-recirc', placement: 'Below Article Thumbnails - Organic', target_type: 'mix' }); Sponsored Content @media(max-this site) { #mod-bizdev-dianomi{ height: 320px; } } From Around the Web Promoted by Taboola window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push( { mode: 'thumbnails-3X2', container: 'taboola-below-article-thumbnails', placement: 'Below Article Thumbnails', target_type: 'mix' } ); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push

Your money why it is so hard to figure out what you can spend today

´╗┐Struggling to get out of credit card debt he accumulated in college, Rion Robinson tried a lot of different approaches to curb his spending, from old-fashioned spreadsheets to money management programs like Mint. None of them worked. Then Robinson, a 27-year-old who works for a medical supplier in Columbus, Ohio, tried the Level budgeting app. He was out of debt six months later. Level, which launched last fall, is aimed at millennials with their relatively straightforward finances and reliance on digital technology. It tries to distill budgeting to just one number: what discretionary money you have available to spend. For Robinson, it was $17.57 a day."I checked it every day, sometimes multiple times a day," he says. "It made it real for me."Robinson is not the only person to feel separate from the physical presence of money."We've lost the ability to just look in our wallets and see how much is left," says Level founder Jake Fuentes. The company does not disclose how many users it has, but says the app has been downloaded 500,000 times. Because of Level, Robinson gave up his $3 latte because he could finally see how it crimped his grocery budget. He also gave up buying music from iTunes and switched to a free online streaming service. And he dropped a package of cable channels.

Getting to a daily spending number is not easy math, which is why most budgeting programs only analyze previous spending. But companies like Mint, with 15 million users, and major banks like Wells Fargo & Co are also working on ways to spin finances forward. While many bills and income payments are regular, others are not as easy to track. "Spending can be lumpy," says Brett Pitts, Wells Fargo's head of product management for the digital channels group. "And just tracking cash flow for the sake of it is too small a frame."The problem: Most money management programs only look back a couple of months when users get started and may not capture upcoming quarterly water or tax bills, one-time lump-sum payments like tuition for summer camp or school, or unpredictable expenses like car repairs. Bills that are split with others also need to be apportioned. Feeding in all the data required to make a reliable calculation can be an onerous task. Mint has found that only about 20 percent of Americans will take the time to quantify their expenses.

SPENDING SOLUTIONS Vince Maniago, group product manager for Mint, a division of Intuit Inc, says his team is working on a solution to the daily spending question. He thinks it will take about a year to work out all the kinks. Users want it, he says, but they just do not want to do the work to get it. "It's like wanting to eat kale and quinoa, but instead we don't," he says. Wells Fargo is testing solutions that go beyond just providing a balance update. Many of the bank's customers check their accounts from lines at the store to make sure they have enough to cover purchases. But account balances do not factor in upcoming withdrawals so that if you buy groceries today, you may be slapped with an overdraft fee tomorrow when the gas bill gets automatically deducted."The challenge with checking your balance every day is a false signal," says Steve Wendel, principal scientist for, a financial analysis service now owned by Morningstar Inc.

The way to get people more engaged is to ask very little of them, Wendel says. A few push alerts to warn about low balances or big upcoming bills will do it, but more than that just overwhelms them. That was definitely the case with Jessica Flaherty, a 30-year-old from Lewiston, Maine, who was mired in law school debt. Flaherty did not want to deal with her problems, so she just ignored them and turned off her phone to bill collectors. When she finally decided in February that she needed to do something, she did not focus on a daily spending number."I did not have a number to spend in a day," she says. "I had a negative number."Instead, she set up an account at Mint, fed in all of her information and set up a goal to pay off her debt. A pop-up told her there was no way to do it. Flaherty found some things to sell and was able to pay down her highest-interest loans, cutting her monthly payments from $1,000 to $500. She also got a job as a volunteer coordinator at a local library. Since then, Flaherty has not been late making loan payments. Spending changes are harder: "I have not succeeded in the coffee budget," she admits. Still, Flaherty says she feels more in control of her finances now."I try to be more on top of it," she says, "and not beat myself up when I fail."