I've taken portraits before and had marginal success, but this weekend was a bit more challenging (multiple people and small children), and it was the first time I felt like there was true technique involved instead of pure luck.
My approach still relies on taking hundreds of shots and using several different positions, and there's quite a bit of luck-factor involved, but I'm starting to feel like I can predict which angles/positions/poses/etc. will turn out the best. I still need tons of practice though. Need cheap family portraits done this fall? :-)