Mum responds to bashing after Walking Dead-inspired photo shoot for kids

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The New Jersey-based mom photographer is a big fan of the hit show and is proud of how it was a fun way to bring their neighborhood together

Though she has received much criticism for snapping photos of children in Cosplay as characters from the hit series The Walking Dead, photographer mum Alana Hubbard of New Jersey, U.S.A. remains proud of the photo shoot.

Many netizens felt like it glorified violence and advocated the use of weapons.

“Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this? I mean it’s practically teaching kids about killing and teaching them to point guns at each other,” wrote one user.

“That’s wrong. What is that teaching these kids?” commented another.

“I don’t understand why it’s gotten so controversial because I didn’t create the scenes, everyone’s seen this before on TV,” Alana said to ABC News in response. “I would never do something to be negative, or to hurt my business.”

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But with the backlash also comes praise and Hubbard highly appreciates it.

“I’m so happy to see the comments from people saying, ‘This is awesome.’ Or, especially some of the comments that say, ‘I’ve never seen the show before, but you made my day.'”

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Being a huge fan of the post-apocalyptic Zombie series, she decided to honour it by enlisting her neighbourhood kids, as well as two of her own kids for the unique photo shoot.

“I just love it,” she said of the hit show, which is currently entering its seventh season. “It’s funny because I was never into zombies and my husband said, ‘You’ve got to watch this show.'” As soon as I watched it, I was addicted. Ever since then, I never miss an episode.”

Prior to the shoot, she posted a casting call on their neighbourhood's community page for kids aged 4 to 7 who would like to join the shoot.

Check out more photos of the kiddie Walking Dead shoot on the next page!

After she shared it on Facebook, the album entitled, Children's Walking Dead Cosplay Shoot, has so far received a total of 45,000 likes.

A total of 24 kids participated in the shoot: some played "walkers" (or zombies), others were cast as the show's beloved characters, Rick (played by Hubbard's 5-year-old son, Mason) Maggie, Glenn, Daryl, Michonne, Carl, Sasha, Abraham, and Carol (who was played by her daughter Mariana, 3).

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She clarified to ABC news, however, that the blood and wounds seen in the final photographs were merely photoshopped and that they didn't shoot anywhere near any train tracks.

“I would never put other people’s children and my children in harm’s way,” Hubbard emphasised. “We chose not to use the real zombie effects because there were young siblings there too. We didn’t want the kids to be scared. We wanted them to have a good time.”

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Parents of the kids who participated in the shoot responded to criticism as well.

“For those people who hounded us about the toy guns and weapons used, I actually bought my son’s crossbow last minute at none other than Toys ‘R’ Us,” said Alexandra Velaquez whose son, Adan, 6, played Daryl. “I disengaged some features on the crossbow so that it couldn’t shoot any projectiles … during each take, the kids would start playing with each other and it honestly looked like a modern day cowboys and Indians, just with a zombie twist.”

Check out more photos of the kiddie Walking Dead shoot on the next page!

Murland Pierre said she was just as excited as her daughter, Emily, 4, who played the samurai-welding femme fatale Michonne.

“I showed my daughter a picture of Michonne and she said, ‘Oh mummy, I can’t wait,” she revealed to ABC News. “They loved it. At the end, they didn’t want to go home so we went to the park and we had ‘Carol’s cookies.’

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“They never played pretend before when they were kids?'” Pierre added of the naysayers on Facebook. “It doesn’t even bother me with the comments. My daughter had fun, she made great friends and that’s it.”

“I totally support [Hubbard’s] idea,” Leong of Staten Island, New York, told ABC News. “‘The Walking Dead,’ I love the show myself. [My son] never watched it, but I brought him there and he was playing around and got to be a little model. He was really looking forward to that day and he couldn’t stop talking about it.”

While the negative comments may be overwhelming, Hubbard said she “tries to have thick skin” and is focusing on the joy her photos brought to her community.

“Overall, they’re thrilled with the pictures,” she said. “They’re proud to see their children on ‘The Walking Dead”s [website] … everyone’s really excited to see our little town in the spotlight.”

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WATCH: 3-year-old perfectly recreates Disney’s Tangled with her dad as her prince

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Written by

Bianchi Mendoza