Using Photoshop To Turn A Wedding Day Into A Zombie Apocalypse

Multimedia Artist Josiah Moore had always wanted to do a fun wedding picture when he and his wife got married. Well that opportunity came, and his wife agreed to go along with it! Armed with only a couple of props, he told the photographer his idea, and after the wedding Josiah got to work in photoshop to turn his wedding day into something out of a horror movie. This video shows a sped up look at his process.

I had a brief talk with Josiah, and he shared with me some more information about the shoot and his photoshop process.

"The wedding was in June, and I had tried to do something with it right away, but I wasn't feeling super inspired yet. So I deleted all my layers, and set it aside and let it sit. Then out of the blue I just really felt like working on it again, and I decided to do a screen recording for fun!

As for a process, I absolutely had it planned out in my head what I wanted the final to look like. We shot outside of this beautiful historic mansion, and so I wanted to capture almost an older Victorian feel. I had done maybe half an hour worth of scrounging around Google images looking for house fires, rubble, blood splatters and the like. The trick for me is to find the right balance between adding a few highlight elements, without adding so much excess imagery that it becomes distracting! That's why I ended up deleting a few building elements I originally added."

(click the image below for a full resolution version)

"When I add elements, I most always use layer masking. I know a lot of other artists swear by the pen tool etc, but I am all about the "feel" of my work. And I just enjoy the feeling of painting my textures, elements and layers on. It will sometimes be slightly more imperfect, but I think that also helps to sell the shot as a final piece!

Little details always make the biggest difference for me! Like adding the burned texture to the grass, or popping out some highlights on my wife's gun. It's the little touches that add up to better overall piece in my opinion.

To give it a slight "comic book" feel, I duplicated the main picture and applied a Poster Edge filter to it. Then set the blend mode to Soft Light. This gave me some strong black lines around all the characters!

I also love playing around with layer blending modes, as this does an awesome job of finishing off the image as a whole for me! I usually save this for the end of a project to kind of tie everything together color and texture wise. It's always my favorite part of any project! The zombie picture really came to life when I began adding some grunge and rain and some color adjustments.

Total editing time was about 2.5 hours. And as with any piece, I see things I would change here or there, but I can absolutely say I am proud of it, and I can't wait to get it printed... that is, if my wife will be okay with a 6x6ft canvas on our bedroom wall. Haha."

The original photo was taken by Tyler Holbein with a Canon 5DMkII at the Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion in New York.

Mike Wilkinson's picture

Mike Wilkinson is an award-winning video director with his company Wilkinson Visual, currently based out of Lexington, Kentucky. Mike has been working in production for over 10 years as a shooter, editor, and producer. His passion lies in outdoor adventures, documentary filmmaking, photography, and locally-sourced food and beer.

Log in or register to post comments

That's really pretty good!

This is just the kinda thing we need more of. There's too many people doing the same stuff they did in the 90s

Pretty good !


Reminds me of a Zombie Ball I went to over the weekend! I went as the Punisher (for zombies) and my wife as the sidekick turned zombie! Great stuff- with the all the zombie/apocalyptic genre coming into productions as of late you could have a lucrative selling point! Awesome!

"...popping out some highlights on my wife’s gun." You rarely hear that these days.

Fun and creative? Sure. But in 20 years I think the couple will cherish their timeless/classic images more. This is my style