Ronnie Koenig, TODAY Contributor - (NBC TODAY) - When stay-at-home mom and professional photographer Juliet Cannici, 35, of West on Jade Photography, turned her camera on her two sets of twins, she never thought the photo she took would receive national attention.
"I posted the photo as my cover photo on Facebook the day I took it, as well as on my business Instagram page, and from there it just took off," she said.
Juliet and wife Nikki Cannici, 34, a case manager for adults with disabilities at Nonotuck Resource Associates, are still adjusting to life with another set of twins. Identical girls Gia and Gemma were born on Jan. 26. Just days later on Feb. 5th, Juliet decided to gather the kids in her Massachusetts home studio for a photo shoot. Nico and Siena, fraternal twins who will turn three in April, weren't cooperating at first.
"I had the older twins dressed up in adorable outfits I rented… I was so set on capturing Nico and Siena holding the babies in those outfits. Nico and Siena were so bored with me, the photos looked terrible. I took them out of their fancy rental clothes and let them play for a bit, then brought them back into the studio for another attempt," Juliet Cannici said.
"They were perfect and I couldn't have asked for more. They immediately held hands and wrapped the other arm around their baby sisters. I got their big smiles by asking them to ‘act goofy' which they recently decided is just a hilarious saying. We will cherish that photo forever."
Juliet and Nikki, who have been married for over 10 years, initially had trouble conceiving. They were able to conceive Nico and Siena via IVF (in vitro fertilization) using two embryos. But they were shocked to find out that they were pregnant with twins again, just one embryo was transferred the second time. RELATED: Beyoncé is pregnant with twins!
"We went through our whole pregnancy saying, ‘I can't believe we are having twins again'... and we still are saying it to each other in the wee hours of the morning while we are both huddled in bed feeding Gia and Gemma," said Juliet. Never miss a parenting story with TODAY's newsletters! Sign up here
Nico and Siena are thrilled to be big brother and sister to the new twins. "Nico and Siena have been so excited for their baby sisters to arrive," said Juliet. "They spent months snuggled with mama's pregnant belly, talking and singing to the unborn babies. Now that they are here, they are incredibly gentle with them, and love holding and feeding them. It is so amazing to see."
And while there are surely many more family photo shoots to come, Juliet says the best thing to come out of the attention her photo is receiving is that LGBT families like hers are receiving the spotlight.
"There is nothing more important out of any of this exposure than serving as a positive example for the LGBT community," she said. "I feel it is important for us to show our struggles, to show what we've fought for so many years for, and to now show our accomplishment, which is how I see my children. We have welcomed the messages from members of our community asking about our journey — we always will. It is a very hard path to go down without support, and we are happy to be that support for some."
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