Of course there are some things you need to know when you get your tattoo.
First off, eat before you go to your session. If you dont you could become light headed and uncomfortable or even pass out. Communicate with your artist, let them know how you are feeling during the tattoo.
Pain differs among people. Everyone has their own pain tolerance. You kind of have a gut feeling as to where you think you can stand getting a tattoo. For example: when I got my foot tattoo, many people advised me against it because of the pain it would cause-- but i figured it would be okay, and turns out i was right :)
The pain itself is comparable to scraping over your skin with a pushpin. Nothing terrible, and the desire to get your tattoo will be greater than the pain. Your body will adapt during the tattoo and your adrenaline will kick in.
If you need to take a break during the session, let your artist know. As for follow up instructions, a reputable artist will inform you of EVERYTHING you need to know (what to wash it with and what to moisturize with), especially if you mention this is your first one.
Everyone kind of has their own "secret" when it comes to healing, but I have never gone wrong with Aquaphor. Healing times will differ among people, and for alot of the healing process your tattoo may look ugly or a bit faded. This is completely normal and you just need to wait it out. Do not pick the flakes of ink off of your tattoo, let them shed naturally. If there is anything that remains after healing that you dislike, you can always go get it fixed.
Most of all, have a great first tattoo and enjoy it!! :)
i have many nicely healed tattoos.. haha