Rowan-Based Photographer Gabriel Saint Elien on Capturing Memories


Rowan University prides itself on providing opportunities for students to grow their brands and giving them the chance to explore their interests. Through providing these opportunities, Rowan is always on-board with turning one dream into reality.

Gabriel Saint Elien, a senior Human Services major from Cinnaminson, New Jersey, is a prime example of this. 

Elien has been digging deep into becoming a content creator through his photography and videography work within the Rowan community. Content creation took hold of him so unexpectedly and it’s taken Elien on a path that he does not want to ever end. 

Elien describes his craft as “one of those things where you decide you’re going to test the waters a little bit and see if you like it.” 

Greatly inspired by the photographic work of Peter McKinnon, a Canadian photographer and videographer, Elien credits this inspiration as a reason for wanting to develop his own style.

“McKinnon definitely motivated me to want to expand my creativity and craft,” said Elien.

Elien notes that although it is hard at times to be a full-time student while trying to make enough content to be consistent, but when you love something so much you make time for it. 

Everyday life — Elien’s school life, work life and all extracurricular activities — are his main photographic subjects, but Elien later developed his love for videography as well. Even still, for him, nothing beats the frozen moment of a photograph. 

“Every time that picture is looked at, it will bring emotions, memories and it will take you to that exact moment in time when it was captured,” Elien said. 

Each and every photo he’s taken has captured a special memory and created a bond that will last a lifetime. 

Elien transferred to Rowan at the start of the fall 2021 semester. He remembers the transition being a little nerve-racking, wondering if he’d find the right crowd whilst also being anxious about the “college life.” 

When he came to Rowan, however, everything seemed far beyond his expectations.

“I instantly found myself surrounded by amazing people,” Elien said. “I could clearly remember making a move in a day vlog on my YouTube to which later on current students were coming up to me stating how they watched my video.”

Experiencing that made Elien feel even more comfortable with his transition to Rowan. 

Elien’s tip for upcoming photographers is to find your “why.” Ask yourself, “why do you want to create?” and “what’s your purpose?” Figure out the one thing you’re working towards. That will make you never want to put a camera down. 

“So find your ‘why,’ and that ‘why’ will make everything make sense,” Elien said. 

For more on Elien’s portfolio, visit his Instagram profiles, @nxlimages and @nxlrowan. 

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