From the Alliance of Professional Tattooing
1. Picking a Design: Choose what you like! You have to live with your tattoo for the REST OF YOUR LIFE. Discuss size & color with your artist to achieve the look you want. Sometimes it is better to leave artistic aspects of your tattoo up to the wisdom and experience of your chosen artist.
2. Placement of Design: Give the location of your tattoo considerable thought. It is there forever. If your concerns are for the sensation and level of discomfort involved, your artist should be happy to discuss these aspects with you.
3. Choice of Artist: This subject is probably the most personal of all aspects of recieving a tattoo. If you're considering a tattoo, find the artist that fullfills your needs art-wise as well as in professionalism, price and last but not least personality. All should make you feel comfortable.
4. Paying the Price! Absolutely do NOT shop around for "the best price." This is a trade in which you should see examples of the artist's work and question their knowledge. This is not a trade to be bartered with, you pay an hourly rate for time & expertise.