The effects of grid-generated velocity fluctuations on the primary atomization and subsequent droplet deformation of a range of laminar liquid jets are examined using microscopic high-speed backlit imaging of the break-up zone and laser Doppler anemometry of the gas phase separately. This is done for fixed gas mean flow conditions in a miniature wind tunnel experiment utilizing a selection of fuels, turbulence-generating grids and two syringe sizes. The constant mean flow allows for an isolated study of velocity fluctuation effects on primary atomization in a close approximation to homogeneous decaying turbulence. The qualitative morphology of the primary break-up region is examined over a range of turbulence intensities, and spectral analysis is performed in order to ascertain the break-up frequency which, for a case of no grid, compares well with the existing literature. The addition of velocity fluctuations tends to randomize the break-up process. Slightly downstream of the break-up region, image processing is conducted in order to extract a number of metrics, which do not depend on droplet sphericity, and these include droplet aspect ratio and orientation, the latter quantity being somewhat unconventional in spray characterization. A turbulent Weber number which takes into account gas phase fluctuations is utilized to characterize the resulting droplet shapes, in addition to a mean Weber number < We d>. Above a a clear positive relationship exists between the mean aspect ratio of droplets and the turbulent Weber number where is varied by altering all relevant variables including the velocity root mean square, the initial droplet diameter, the surface tension and the density.