Are you storing the images in the container, or 'By Reference'?
Storing images in the container will make your file size explode. By Reference will be very small. After that you could look at whether by relation to another table is any better - you need to be storing by reference first, no matter where it is.
Thanks Sorbuster: I changed them so they are referenced and this speeds things up, but not much. For now, though, it's fine. I'll be back with more questions, though!
Bumber: thanks! headed there now!