By Crystal Bonvillian, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
HOLYOKE, Mass. — A Massachusetts photographer’s first photo shoot with her two sets of twins seemed to be leaning toward failure — until she cut the children loose and captured a more candid moment that went viral in time for Valentine’s Day.
Juliet and Nikki Cannici’s identical twin girls, Gia and Gemma, were born on Jan. 26, joining fraternal twins Nico and Siena. Nico and Siena, who will celebrate their third birthday in late April, were enamored with the babies long before they arrived.
“They spent months snuggled with (Nikki Cannici’s) pregnant belly, talking and singing to the unborn babies,” Juliet Cannici told the Huffington Post. “Now that they are here, they are incredibly gentle with them, and love holding them and feeding them.”
When the babies were nine days old, Cannici rented outfits for all four children from a children’s boutique and took them into the studio in the family’s Holyoke, Massachusetts, home for the siblings’ first photo shoot together. Cannici does business under the name West on Jade Photography.
Nico and Siena, however, were not feeling the vibe of the session, and the resulting photos were disappointing.
“The bribery tactics were flying full force, and they still weren’t working,” Cannici said.
Cannici took off their outfits and let the bored toddlers play for a while before bringing them back into the studio for another try. On the spur of the moment, she laid them on the floor and placed a newborn next to each of them.
That’s when magic was created.
“They immediately held hands and wrapped the other arm around their baby sisters,” Cannici told the Huffington Post.
She said she brought beatific smiles to the older twins’ faces by telling them to “act goofy,” their latest favorite phrase. When she posted the photo to her business Facebook page, alongside several others of their family, that particular photo went viral.
Cannici told the Huffington Post that she and her wife, who have been married for 11 years, struggled for years before getting pregnant with Nico and Siena. To find themselves expecting a second set of twins was a shock.
She said the photo shows the bond that the children have already forged with one another.
“Several times a day, Nico and Siena each say, ‘I just love my baby sisters. I will keep them safe forever,’” Cannici told the Huffington Post. “We are taken aback by how seamless a transition it has been for all of us.”