Regarding the photography question on images and load times, there is a technique called lazy loading that only loads images when they will be rendered. This could help.
You could chose to load low res full size versions of your images and then load the higher res images once the page has been fully loaded. You could also selectively do that when a user navigates near to a content section.
Another option is to use a gallery type function that pre-loads the next image only so you can still have a nice seamless user experience without loading all images at once.
You should also optimize all images for the web in modern web formats, then you can link to high res full size versions of the image.