Overall, Turbeville’s work was characterized by a seemingly paradoxical sense of both decay and sensuality. She often set her scenes in decrepit, once-grand interior spaces and framed her shots in such a way that emphasized their cavernous emptiness and amplified the smallness and fragility of her models. She also shot out-of-doors, including in such historically resonant places as the woods of Normandy, France. There, she captured models in attire that appears utilitarian or vaguely militaristic, in poses that seem to suggest soldiers standing in formation or immediately after capture.
Turbeville’s compositions recall those made in the late 19th- to early 20th-century
style, characterized by a soft-focus, painterly technique, and stylized or romanticized imagery. To further heighten the feeling of removal from the everyday in her photographs, she would manipulate her negatives by, for example, scratching or sprinkling dust on them, or she would intentionally overexpose her prints.