Thank you, @buddingphotographer, for the helpful reminders and the link to the refurbished 50mm lens from Adorama – I’m definitely ready to get it and that is the best deal I’ve seen!
Are you shooting from a tripod?
Most times I don’t use a tripod when taking portraits of families because I move from spot to spot to get better angles, backgrounds, etc. and a tripod would really slow me down, although I know it would help out a lot with the blurriness. I try to get the session done as quickly as possible for the sake of everyone involved, especially when the children will not sit in one place for more than 30 seconds! 🙂 In between setting up, I look at the photos (on the back of my camera) to see what adjustments need to be made, what poses would be better, or if any are blurry. At that point, I slow down, think carefully, and do what is necessary to make the photo look good.
Also, I do my best to keep the focal points directly on the eye[s] whenever I can, although that’s not always possible…I pay close attention to the background and my subjects and make sure that they are the main focus in the photo.