The changing social and economic environment has a direct impact on schools and their effective management. School principals have to deal with issues hitherto unknown to them in historical school cultures. This article attempts to describe a South African principal’s experience of the way in which professional development (PD) impacted on the development of the school and the way in which his PD – and that of his staff – manifests itself in the functioning of the school. An exploratory qualitative study employing visual ethnography was deemed appropriate for the study. Convenient and selective sampling was used in the study, identifying a school principal who proved to be an exemplar of a principal placing a high premium on his own continuing professional development and that of others. Data were collected by means of reflexive photography, the principal’s writings and a photo-elicitation interview. The fol-lowing categories emerged from the data: the commitment and attitude of the principal to professional development; the head start: receiving the inviting school award; be positive (B+); a focus on client service (doing more than is expected; the blue and orange card system for learners; and inculcating a value system); and what do we do differently?