A very important lesson that is sometimes learned the hard way is to always scout out your location ahead of time. Some may think, "well duh" but construction happens fast and when I say "ahead of time" I'm talking like at least 3 days ahead of time.
This lovely family scheduled their shoot at Big Spring Park, at my urging as it's one of my favorite places in town. They were new to the area and not familiar so they took my word for it. I had just been in that area less than a month before this shoot, 2 weeks tops. Little did I know/notice that the park had been completely demolished and was a total construction zone when we showed up for the shoot.
They were so patient and so flexible and we had a quick backup plan in place - always a good idea - but the lesson was not lost on me. Don't rely on weeks "ahead of time", go days before your shoot!