Thanks for your reply.
I have taken on board your suggestions and had a go at using repeaters and content tree storage, works quite well.
This may work ok, our current photo library is quite basic anyway but one element they have is the ability to resize the image on output/download .i.e. for presentation (500kb) for poster (2mb) / original size (5mb) etc...
Do you know if this is possible to replicate in some way?