Depending on how you want to approach Wordpress will give you different answers. I personally use WordPress almost exclusively to create all my websites. I do this by installing WordPress and then using either a very good theme (which usually comes packed with all sorts of goodies) or by building my website using a blank framework and plugins.
It is possible to use WordPress this way and to still create very customised websites. It free's you up to concentrate on displaying the information rather than creating a website from scratch.
The other way is to install Wordpress and get your hands dirty in with the code and write customised code from the outset. You'll certainly learn more along the way, but it will take longer depending on your current coding skills.
Wordpress is a good platform for development because so many people use it and there are so many great resources out there.
For the project you are talking about I would install Wordpress, install a Slider or Gallery plugin, customise the administration menu (to allow your customer to log in and not see all the options), pick a theme and style the website. It isn't a complex thing. I would stick to the major players for providing themes or plugins because they provide good support forums. You might pay a few dollars here or there but it isn't expensive to get some fantastic tools. Personally I am a fan of [Envato and their [URL="http://themeforest.net/popular_item/by_category?category=wordpress"]Themeforest and [URL="http://codecanyon.net/category/plugins/wordpress"]CodeCanyon](http://envato.com/) in particular (just be sure to search for WORDPRESS related plugins, sometimes there are different versions).