You certainly can create a portfolio in a thread - we could have a whole forum just for that. I was just looking at a different way of displaying them.
I agree- long term plan is not to email photos to me. But at the moment, I can't think of another way. If you think about it, normally photographers create their own web site for photos - so there is no need to send them to someone else. But of course, if they hire someone to do that, they still need to get the pictures to them somehow.
I could (if I worked on it), give interested people an FTP upload area so they could upload their own pictures and then the galleries would just look there to pick them up rather than a folder in my site. But they'd need to remember the username/password etc. and it's probably not going to work for many.
The end result for me was to make the landing site more interesting. If people don't want to use it, that's fine. But let's see what happens.
And yes, your picture does show the sort of thing I was planning. I only put my pictures on the main page because that's all I have at the moment. Once we get more, I will create cards like you are showing and then put each set of pictures in its own page.