What could be more relaxing than standing on a calm, empty beach, looking out to sea while holding a giant red balloon? As is so often the case, all is not quite as it seems. Rather than being on a quiet empty beach in the middle of nowhere we were surrounded by early morning walkers, swimmers and surfers. There was a nice gusty wind that kept blowing the balloon around at crazy angles and threatening to steal it away. Yet thanks to the magic of photography (a high shutter speed and careful framing) we have a calm, reflective moment of peace. One of the best bits of the shoot was at the end when I told my subject (the beautiful Lou from Relaxed Soul, Happy Mind) to feel free to give the balloon away to a passing child. She spotted a family with two toddlers who had been playing in the water just down the beach from us. The balloon was probably as big as them and they were completely thrilled to have it. We saw them leaving the beach a short time later and couldn’t decide if it was because they’d had enough of playing in the water, or if they’d realised the mixed blessing that is a large helium filled balloon on a windy beach.