The Turquoise Project

turquoiseproject1If you haven’t heard of The Turquoise Project yet, you will definitely want to take some time this weekend to check it out!  Started by Iowa native, Lauren VanNatta, this portrait series is bringing light to some issues that have long lived in the dark.  I was so glad to chat briefly with Lauren and learn more about who she is and what the Turquoise Project means to her.  Check out a bit of our conversation here, and then scroll down to see some of the amazing images from the project so far.
Tell me about yourself.
I grew up in the Quad Cities,  obtained a B.S. in Communication Education at Illinois State University, and then obtained a M.S. in Communication at Illinois State University. I now reside in Effingham, IL. I teach full-time at the University of Illinois, and I also own my photography business, LHV Photography.
How did you start the project?
The project came about from my husband and I’s own struggle with TTC. We are going on 2 years now of not having any luck what-so-ever. One day I was meditating after having a particularly tough day dealing with the emotions and frustrations of not being able to conceive, and this idea that had been on the brain for awhile by then essentially started screaming at me. It was as if the timer was going off and saying, “HEY! DO THIS ALREADY!” And that was when I finally found the courage to start this portrait series project!
Tell us more about The Turquoise Project and what it’s doing.

The Turquoise Project is an inspired portrait series that focuses on women and partners who have struggled with TTC (trying to conceive).

The intention of this portrait series is to help break the stigma and silence of TTC and miscarriages, which are so often experienced by women and partners, but so rarely discussed openly.

I hope that this project will allow women and partners to put a voice to their experience and help thousands of other women and partners feel validated in their feelings, and ultimately, less alone in their struggle.

Why “The Turquoise Project,” you ask? Turquoise has long been associated with expression and healing. The intention of this portrait series is to do just that, help others heal through expression and by putting a voice to their stories.

Scroll down to see some of the beautiful images included in the series so far (all photos courtesy of LHV Photography). Click on the individual photos to better read the stories.
If you or someone you know is interested in participating in this project, please contact Lauren at 309-428-3630 or at [email protected].  Be sure to follow the Turquoise Project Facebook page for more photos and updates!
Sara and her husband Matt (sweethearts since they were just 16) got married in 2007, and since then have welcomed four beautiful children (Sam in 2008, Cooper in 2010, Nora in 2012, and Adam James in December 2015). A born-and-raised Iowan, Sara received both her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees (in Spanish Literature) from the University of Iowa. She's still teaching Spanish wherever and whenever she can, but her true passion is owning Iowa City Moms and building this community alongside her amazing team. Sara is also the Community Engagement Coordinator for City Mom Collective, and the owner of Cowork Collective downtown Iowa City. Common denominator in all of these jobs: community, community, community.


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