I agree about the speed of flash sites and as I've already mentioned, they don't do well in the search engines. I hate the intros and always skip them and if I hit a site with automatic sound, I instantly leave and never return (it scares the cats).
But flash can sometimes be useful on sort of the back end of a site. If you want a fancy way to view photos, then it can provide that. If you want short videos, it can provide that. As protection of photos, its not very useful, although a little better than nothing. The secret is to keep it in its proper place. Don't put it on the main pages, but if you want to use it for special effects once a user gets into the site, then that might work. Definitely don't use it for your navigation scheme as more often than not no one can figure out how to navigate many of the flash sites I see.
A photographer should make his site easy to use, and quickly allow the visitor to find representative samples of the photographer's work and let him see those examples at reasonable size. Then give contact information and so forth. Be aware of the search engines, and if you want your site found, then do the basic seo
work (or hire someone like me to do it for you).