Very few families these days are looking for the traditional family portrait; I’m not saying this to give you the excuse to revolt against sound lighting and posing techniques. It is however a revolt against the same old thing, nobody wants a family portrait that looks like everyone else’s.
I realized a few years back that when I approached a family photo the same way I approached a rock band promo my sales went way up. By using extreme angles or by shooting from directly above from a ladder or standing on top of a hill to capture a unique angle, shooting from a lower position or even lying down on the ground creates a different feel.
There are so many unique ideas out there, try just shooting a families feet hanging over a picnic table or have each family member hold pieces of paper with letters written on them that spell a word, a family of four can hold up the letters L-O-V-E.
Consider placing subjects in unusual settings, of late my favorite setting is a junk pile behind the local concrete plant. Turn those families into Rock Stars!!!