The last couple of weeks I’ve been working in league with the Custom Publications department of the Indianapolis Star on what ended up being a 10 page special section for the new JW Marriott in Downtown Indy.  Anybody from Indy knows what this thing is as there’s nothing else like it in the downtown.  It’s the tallest and Blue-ist hotel in Indy, and the largest JW Marriott in the world (if only by one room), and it has almost enough green amenities in it that it’s almost LEED Certified.

(Canon 5D Mark II, 100ISO, Canon 70-200mmF2.8IS@70mm, 1/160th@F10)

The section’s cover reads “Into the Blue”, which while very fitting for print didn’t seem appropriate to duplicate for the blog. Instead I decided to go with what everybody see’s when they are in downtown Indy; The Big Blue.  There’s a lot more to it than just being blue though.  The hotel itself is absolutely stunning in almost every single way.  Cory over at the JW was incredibly helpful in getting the shots that we needed, and to my knowledge is greatly pleased with the way everything turned out.  Cory also told me a lot of what I know about the Marriott, which is no small amount of information now.  Turns out it’s designers were very guest comfort oriented, and overlooked no details.  Examples being that each room has individual bedside reading lights for when it’s guests want to read before bed.

(Canon 5D Mark II, 250ISO, Canon 16-35F2.8L@35mm, 1/125th@F8. Single Canon 580EX Speedlight fired by pocket wizard Plus II Reciever set to 1/128th power zoomed to 105mm aimed at the pillows to simulate the reading light by Phil Miller the Art Director)

The rooms also had what Cory called the “All Play” bar, which was a panel on the side of the desk with every kind of connection you could imagine to hook up your laptop, iPod, iPad, xbox or whatever to the TV in each room.  If you were a king, these room’s had it all! You feel like a king, because EVERY room has this stuff!

(Canon 5D Mark II, 400ISO, Canon 16-35F2.8L@24mm, 1/20th@F5.6.  Single Canon 580EX Speedlight to camera right about 8 feet back  fired by Pocket Wizard Plus II Receiver, set to 1/8th power shot through a 32″ umbrella held by Phil Miller the Human Light Stand.)

That’s Scott, the General Manager of the hotel.  Only had a few minutes to make this photo, but the Lobby seemed like a great background.  The lobby is made up of very natural tones and artwork, trying to stick with the “Barn” theme using a lot of wood-grain patterns.  Beautifully crafted, awesomely implemented.  If you’ve got time to go take a tour, you should do it.  They have two outstanding restaurants as well, the Osteria Pronto, and the High Velocity Sports bar.  Both are staffed with it’s own World Renown Chef too.  They looked like some Good Eats, and even though I didn’t get to try them during the photoshoot process, I’m most certainly going to try to take Shannon back there to try it soon.

(Canon 5D Mark II, 250ISO, Canon 24-70F2.8L@70mm, 1/60th@F6.3.  A single Canon 580EX Speedlight fired by Pocket Wizard Plus II receiver above and behind the food set to 1/4th power shot through a FotoRosa 16″ Softbox.  A Second Canon 580EX Speedlight fired by Pocket Wizard plus II Receiver set to 1/16th Power sitting on a dinner chair to camera left shot into a White napkin used as a fill card hanging on the back of the chair. )

Between all the crazy amenities like the touch screen kiosk 40″monitors, world renown chefs, Outstanding views of the downtown from every room, Workout room overlooking the city and State Museum, Three Presidential suites and Circus monkeys Ammenities in every room that would make a king jelaous; this place is Loaded!  One of my first questions was what the rules were and how much it cost to rent a Presidential suite for a night, either for a light-switch Rave, or possibly a LAN Party…… Turns out the hotel is willing to accommodate for anything, and in the right situations, they will even comp the room.  When I asked if It would be comped if I was the winner of desk chair races through the lobby there was a laugh, but a solid No attached as well.

Canon 5D Mark II, 200ISO, Canon 16-35F2.8L, 1/10th@F5.  Single 580EX Speedlight fired by Pocket Wizard Plus II Receiver shot at 1/16th power into the ceiling behind camera left from inside the master bedroom of the presidential suite for a little fill on the chair in front of the camera.)

Yea so the place was freakin sweet.  Know what else is freakin sweet?  We’ve got a special rate with the JW Marriott downtown in September for the North Central Regional Roller Derby Tournament.  That’s right.  Instead of paying $159 (which is ridiculously reasonable for this kind of place anyway) It’s less than that.  If I were you I’d start calling today.  Maybe emailing.  Or heck, if you live in Indy just go check it out.  So Cool, and it’s finally done!  Know what else?  If you stay there for the Derby Regional you won’t even have to go outside to get to the tournament because the convention center is attached via skywalk.  If you’re looking for more information the Entire Section should be up online HERE on Monday morning.   More soon.

(Canon 5D Mark II, 100ISO, Canon 16-35F2.8L@16mm, 1/80th@F5.6)