Fireside Chat: Mike McCluskey

by Tanner Colley

Photographer Mike “Clusk” McCluskey uses his Yukon to stay creative.

Clusk, as Mike’s friends call him, is a busy guy. He’s a marketer, social media manager, and an outdoorsman. But it’s photography that drives him.

As you can see from the image above, Clusk took his Yukon on ice.

A Yukon. On. ice.

We’ve never seen anything like that before and could not wait to ask him how he got the idea. We caught up with Clusk while he was on the way to ski in Breckenridge with his fiancé.

Fire and Ice

So…we couldn’t wait to ask, what gave you the idea to get your Yukon on the ice?

A friend of mine runs two ice hockey rinks here in Boston. I don’t skate, but he invited me out there. It’s been a terrible winter since it’s been so warm, but usually we get out there every Saturday and Sunday. We grill, hangout, we bring the dogs. It’s a fun way to get outside during the winter. I bring my Yukon along usually, but had never thought about getting it out onto the ice until my friends got us all together to play some hockey. I thought it would be a cool opportunity to get some cool shots of everyone on the ice next to the fire in the Yukon.

How’d you do it?

Well, I had two skis and a bit of wood. (laughs) It just happened to work. I strapped some rope on it so we could walk it out on the ice.

Yukon on Ice

The shots on the ice are amazing. How long have you been into photography?

It’s a hobby of mine that I just started getting into not long ago. I started taking photos, and then I started to take more. I started deep diving into editing and the process, and that’s what I really like. No matter if I’m in the city or the country or out traveling, there is always something to take a photo of. I even started printing my photos and giving them to friends.

I started taking photos just to remember everything and print everything out just because my mom always had them. She had thousands and thousands of photos of when her and my father were younger, and it’s a trip. I don’t have that. I’ve got 15,000 photos on my phone, but I’ve never printed them out. Yeah, it’s old technology, but I want to keep that going. There is something special about holding a photo. I feel like you can remember more about when a photo was taken when you can actually hold it.

“In Boston, you actually get the four seasons. . .”

What inspires your photography?

I try to take photos no one else has seen, especially of nature. In Boston you get all four seasons. Fall is my favorite because of the different color leaves and everything changing colors. I’m colorblind . . .

Wait, you’re colorblind? We couldn’t tell from how colorful your photos are.

Yeah, everyone is surprised by that. I’m red, brown, green colorblind, so everything looks pretty much brown throughout the year except in fall. That’s why a lot of my photos are very saturated and have contrast. I can’t usually tell the difference, but I’m trying. (laughs)

Everything looks brown . . . except in fall

Has having a Solo Stove helped you get outdoors and stay creative?

Definitely. It’s an awesome tool to be creative with. For the hockey scene, I knew I wanted to get some cool shots with my drone, and I knew my Yukon would look cool from above, but it kept everyone warm since it was so cold. I take it a lot of places, and how I get it around makes me be a little creative (laughs). Everyone knows when they sit around it that when it rips, it rips.

Mike “Clusk” McCluskey

Check out more of Clusk’s work on Instagram, @Clusk61.

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