A creative mom staged an unsentimental first-day-of-school photo shoot with her child that's gone viral, with mixed reviews.

By Christine Coppa
September 11, 2015
unsentimental first day of school photo
Credit: Happy Acres Photography

It was back to school for many children in the U.S. this week, and Facebook feeds were flooded with traditional first-day photos. You know the ones: the kid holds a sign declaring his or her new grade, all smiles and white sneakers, with beaming Mom and Dad on either side. Well, one mom's hysterical back-to-school photo of her daughter heading to kindergarten has gone viral, and for good reason—it's wacky, whether you like it or not.

In the photo, professional photographer Jessi Kittrell is sporting a comfy pink robe and slippers while clutching a margarita glass and a bottle of tequila. Her sign says "Bye Felicia!" Her daughter, in ponytails and a busy-print dress, looks less than enthused, holding a sign that says "1st Day of Kindergarten." Mom admits the photo was staged—still her "unsentimental" photo is getting mixed reviews.

Most parents comb their kid's hair, pack a love note in the lunchbox, position her by a tree, thrust a sign about her new grade level in her hands and say, "Smile!" "One more!" "Yay! You're a BIG kid now!" Or at least that's what good 'ole perfect Facebook leads us all to believe.

But Kittrell, who owns Happy Acres Photography in Gloucester, Virginia, told ABC News that her controversial viral photo featuring liquor, a snarky sign, and her sulky kid was brainstormed with friends and staged. Kittrell also admits it was a way of showing her mixed emotions about her daughter, Bailey, going to school. "She's my sidekick. We have gone everywhere and done everything together since she was born," Kittrell said. She also says her kiddo is a "ham" for the cam.

Commenters on the web are mostly LOVING this, but there are a few naysayers. One commenter writes:

"I didn't enjoy my kids going back to school at all. And mine are in 7th and 3rd grades. Maybe there's something wrong with my little family but my girls love each other and I actually LOVE having my kids around. We haven't gotten tired of each other yet but we are definitely tired of work and school sucking up all of our time. Guess that's unusual. :/"

But the majority of commenters, like this one, tend to see the humor and sliver of truth in the photo: "I think it's a funny photo. I am a full time mom, student, and employee. It gets stressful sometimes. We definitely need 'me time.'"

We are all entitled to our own opinions. If you ask me, this photo is awesome. My kid went back to school on Tuesday. The crinkle of snack packs, thump of sneakers, zip of the backpack—all glorious sounds to my ears. I dropped him off and then drove straight to the beach, where I laid in the sand in peace.

Are you offended, or can you totally relate? Tell us in the comments!