Our Projects

a.k.a. “How We Make Money”

Our New Website & Marketing Business

I love Love LOVE helping people launch websites and blogs, so I started a business that specializes in exactly that. I also post occasional articles on blogging and bootstrap marketing strategies for small businesses.

Read more about why and how I started Boost Marketing in my announcement post or visit Boost Marketing for my free marketing tips and to see what services I offer!


We’re all about photography and travel… and doing whatever the hell we want. So we have 4 websites that combine all those topics. Here they are, in chronological order from when we started them:

Lonely Speck

The website that started it all. Ian quit his job in February 2013 and started LS to teach the world how to photograph the Milky Way —  for free. No photography secrets. It’s an educational free-for-all.

Its name comes from Carl Sagan’s monologue in The Pale Blue Dot: “Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.”

North to South

That’s this one — one blog to connect them all — with the main focus being US. Launched when Diana took the leap back in March 2014. Here on NTS you’ll find our stories about quitting our jobs to travel the world, periodic journals and photography from our travels, plus reviews of our favorite globe-trotting gear.

It’s named after us — Ian Norman and Diana Southern… Get it? The “.us” part was on purpose, too.

Stylish Travel Girl

My women’s travel blog. Launched in October 2014 to cover all topics related to women’s travel: travel gear, travel fashion, beauty on the road, wanderlust, etc. I invite other traveling women (whose writing I admire) to write for this blog. It’s my outlet for being girlie and connecting with other bloggers in the women’s travel community.

Its name is mostly an exercise in SEO. There’s no guessing what the site’s about. It’s straight to the point.

The Photon Collective

Our all-encompassing photography website. Launched in February 2015, it’s Ian’s outlet for sharing photography techniques and tips outside of the night sky photography realm.

We wanted this one to have a community feel — thus the “collective” — with more contributors than just us. And this name also satisfied Ian’s nerdy side. A photograph is, in fact, a collection of photons.

Online Photography Classes

We’ve put together a few photography classes on Skillshare.com. You can check them all out on Ian’s teacher profile here.

Interested in taking one? We can usually get you a free code. Just ask!

Graphic Design + Arts ‘n Crafts

I used to do part-time graphic design work while also working a full-time job. Occasionally I’ll dabble again, but now I pretty much only design for myself.

I have a handful of doodles and designs available on Etsy and Society 6.

Sewing has been a hobby of mine since my grandma taught me how when I was a little kid. I also enjoy most other crafty endeavors, too. Sewing camera straps and clothing, make jewelry, crochet hats, and whatever else I feel like giving a try.

Check out my DIY resources on Stylish Travel Girl. Occasionally I’ll list that stuff for sale on Etsy, too.

Photography Product Sales

We officially launched our first physical product (the SharpStar precision focusing tool for astrophotography) in November 2015, via Lonely Speck (one of those blogs on that list up there). Read more about it and learn how it works here!

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