Excellent Adventures: Hawaii with Stephen Lloyd

Our next Excellent Adventure features Stephen Lloyd, a former American Eagle model and now a photographer and content creator for his own social media and digital marketing agency, Saltshine Creative, that he runs with his partner. The coolest part? They're based in Hawaii.

How did you come to realize your passion for photography?

My passion for photography actually came from being in front of the camera first. I was modeling for American Eagle for their Spring 2014 campaigns and fell in love with all the work going on behind the scenes (photography, video, styling, production, etc) and found a new passion through that experience.

Stephen Lloyd surfing in Hawaii wearing Bather Technical Surf Trunk

Stephen Lloyd surfing in Hawaii

To live in Maui is a dream for most people, what does a day off look like for you?

Man, it’s a dream for me too. On my days off I like to hike a new trail, swim in waterfalls or spend all day at the beach surfing. 

What was your inspiration to create your company, Saltshine Creative? 
My inspiration came from being inspired through my experience with American Eagle and knowing I wanted to make a creative career. It’s been great but we’ve also had a lot of hardships. Still, I’m thankful for starting a company with my girlfriend who is so creative, passionate, and driven. She was a huge part of inspiring Saltshine Creative too.   

Man surfing in Hawaii

Man wearing blue hawaiian shirt

Where did you grow up, and how do you think it influences the life you’re living now? 

I grew up in a small town in Southern Indiana called Sellersburg. I don’t really know if how I grew up really influences how I’m living now because it’s polar opposite. I guess seeing a lot of people I grew up with making mistakes influenced me to create a different life for myself.    

Man wearing blue resort shirt by a pool in Hawaii

Hawaii ocean waves in sunset

From an insider's perspective, what is the most special part about Hawaii?

The community. Everyone here is so nice once you get to know them. 

For people who are planning to travel to Hawaii, what are your top 5 tourist recommendations?

I would definitely go to  Haleakala for sunset. It’s so beautiful to see.
For the hikers, try hiking on the Waihee Ridge Trail along the West Maui Moutians.
Definitely, drive the Road to Hana. It’s a long windy road through Maui and it’s full of one-lane bridges, waterfalls, and cool spots to stop at along the way.
Red Sand Beach is probably one of my favorite beaches on the Island. 
Black Rock is a cool spot to do some mellow cliff jumping. 

Eating food in Hawaii

Surfing in Hawaii during sunset

Sunset in Hawaii over ocean

If you’re having a day where you feel creatively blocked, what do you do to inspire yourself? 

Man, I’m still a little old school and have magazine subscriptions. Any time I’m feeling uninspired or have a creative block I always take time to look trough magazines. It doesn’t matter if it’s a new magazine or old, I’ll always find something that inspires me to get me out of the mental block. 

It seems like you do a lot of travelling, if you had to go somewhere and could only carry 3 personal items with you (excluding clothes and toiletries), what would they be and why? 

Camera for sure
Solar power charger so I can charge my phone + camera

Food to eat in Hawaii

If you could share one piece of advice with someone who saw your platform and was inspired to chase their photography dreams/start their own company, what would it be? 

Just go for it and be true to yourself. I always say be yourself before you find yourself by yourself. So if you want to make a career out of photography, do it! Just make sure you’re creating stuff that’s true to you and that you’re proud to put your name on. I’ve seen too many people get into photography for the wrong reasons and try to mirror/copy someone they like and it never plans out. It’s better to be a first-rate version of yourself then a third-rate version of someone else. 

Surfing Hawaii sunset


Stephen Lloyd surfing in Hawaii during sunset