if you always do it for free, you will have many many clients in no time. If you charge friends - everyone - something, only those who understand, appreciate and VALUE good - even great - pictures as part of their history and future, will seek you out.
If you are good enough, there will be those who will pay for it. Most "civilians" are not used to pay for photography services and they will probably be reluctant to pay large amounts for birthdays, family events, family portraits, couple-shots..that sort of thing.
However, there is a balance to be found somewhere. You should only try to command larger amounts if you are CONFIDENT that you can deliver professional results EVERY SINGLE TIME. But, I'd advise against doing it for free as well.
To be quite honest, chances are that the amounts you can successfully charge and BUILD business upon, will be so modest - for the first couple of years - that you might make more money working as a dishwasher, if you count every single hour and minute you spend on it.
Nothing beats experience. You can be - inherently - the most talented photographer on this planet, but until you have the experience in the full range of aspects of the photography-business, you should remain cautious of over extending.
Most people start with only what they are comfortable with - say portraits of pretty young people, outdoors, on a well-lit summer's day. If you are successful with those types of images, you will draw others to you with marketing, word-of-mouth and website presence and advertising.
Then, one day, a mature, overweight couple with bad skin, will show up with their mangy unkempt dog and want you to take the same kind of pictures of them on a rainy overcast day, somewhere where there are overflowing dumpsters full of dead pig carcasses as a background. Unless you know exactly how many flashes and what settings to you to make them look good, how to pose them and what to tell them to get comfortable, you are still a novice
Prepare to be a novice for several years, until you have situations like these - and many others - covered by "recipes" that you know by heart.
OK, I have perhaps exaggerated for dramatic effect and entertainment purposes, but the principle is sound.
So yes, do demand payment for services, but be conscious of your limitations and charge accordingly if you want to continue to grow. If you max out all profit potential from day 1, you better be damn good under a huge variety of circumstances. Then, build from there.