TODAY   |  October 12, 2013

Mother inspires others to join family photos

When a mother realized she wasn’t in many of her family photos, she decided to speak out. Once she acknowledged she was camera shy, others said they could relate. TODAY’s Erica Hill reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> all-important first to basically every other cute amazing fantastic thing they do. when one mom, though, looked at the pictures of her kids, she noticed something was missing. and after a lot of soul searching , she decided to do something about it.

>> careful!

>> reporter: like many parents, allison tate, mother of four, loved takie ining picture after picture of her kids. one person was missing in all those photos -- allison .

>> i knew i was not in pictures of my kids. i avoid the camera. i know i avoid the camera.

>> reporter: allison was uncomfortable with the way she looked and decided she was better off out of the picture .

>> someday, i want them to see me.

>> reporter: she blogged about it in an article for the huffingtonpost explaining why it needed to change for the sake of her kids.

>> i want them to see the way i looked at them, see how much i loved them. i'm not perfect to look at and i am not perfect to love, but i am perfectly their mother.

>> reporter: the message touched a nerve. for many moms, it inspired them to share their own stories and get in front of the camera themselves. it's been a years since allison vowed to get in the picture . now she knows she doesn't have to look perfect for it to be a perfect photo. and allison tait is with us this morning along with lisa bellkins. you had a huge response to this piece. you said you know you got a lot of response from this piece but you've made a lot of progress.

>> yes. i found -- i mean, it was awesome to get that big of a response, but it was also sad because it meant that that many people related to how i felt about myself which was, you know, it's not the best thing in the whole world and, yeah, that this past year, i've been able to make the effort to get in the picture more.

>> and inspired so many other women to do the same. your post, we talked about it in the break, it's something i can relate to and i think a lot of moms can. what do you think about that, lisa, that resonates with so many of us?

>> i think it resonates in the particulars we all notice we are are not there. everyone i know went and looked as their photos after they read that piece and they weren't there. it resonates in the general its i don't feel good about myself and why i'm not there.

>> a real picture on every level it seems. increasingly every year that women to be perfect at what they do, mothers especially.

>> all women but mothers definitely have a lot of pressure.

>> we all know it's not possible.

>> it's not.

>> no such thing as perfect. touched a nerve with our viewers. craig is over in the orange room . we have had a number of photos and comments come in this about this, right, craig?

>> a lot of responses to allison allison 's story. a few of the tweets we have gotten in. the question we pose wad simple. what does family mean to you? we heard from rebecca. my support system. first marathon and couldn't have done it without them. you see rebecca with a picture of her family. rolling with the punches and not taking everything serious. we can tell that thaw their faces did not freeze that way. the last one, family means that no matter where we are, we are where we belong when we are together. so, again, an overwhelming response. erica, we wanted to share a few of the pictureses a and tweets with our viewers.

>> that mention family being there and you being there is proof of what it started out for your kid.

>> right. i feel like i do everything, along with my husband. i have to say. to navigate their lives, to plan everything. plan the birthday parties . plan the first day of school outfit. everything. and i'm not in any pictures from their birthday party . i'm not in any pictures from the first days of school and i felt like it's wrong. my kids are going to look back and say where were you? you weren't there. i also think that it's important for us to say we're valuable and we are important in these moments and we should be in these pictures !

>> it's also nice to see what you look like when your kids were different ages and that was part of it too.

>> and to look back at your own parents.

>> exactly. when i look at the pictures of my mom i don't say why did she wear that outfit. you joke about that with certain clothes prosecute certain eras but we don't judge our parents in those pictures . we love seeing them.

>> we love seeing them and those memories and that is the way you capture the memories. she has made a difference ever since this piece ran. we got 3,000 photos like that and people started sending them in. it's a small difference that makes a big difference.

>> it does make a big difference from one inspire inspired to do more of that. it 's wonderful and the pictures are fantastic and you look gorgeous.