Wrong: in html you can display every unsafe and exotic font when you know how to, but it is a bit of an hassle to do it.
it is not that you can not, it is that it is not wysiwyg.
Not being able to lay fonts out accurately/properly is exactly why people who actually care about design and typography so often use Flash. Browsers make such a pigs ear out of type, even if the font you like can be displayed. And that's without taking the difference between Macs + PCs with regard to type.
And as pro photographers will tend to show their work to art directors and similar people, this is a very important consideration. Personally, I loathe how crappy type looks in HTML with poor kerning or no ligatures. It's like looking as a poorly composed photograph.
Browser support is improving in this area, but until all browsers render HTML the same [very,very unlikely], having something like Flash which is visually consistent is a very useful tool.
But the dilema is simple: flash does not work on every platform. If you really want to use flash, I recommend that you also implement a pure html version. (without frames if you want 100% compatibility).
This is why (IMO) BCooter for example did 2 versions. 1 more aimed for selling "image" in flash, 1 for displaying images properly (html). (by properly I mean fast and clean)
You'll find that the J.Russell html site is way (but way!) faster than the flash one, wich also can be a very important factor.
I have a really fast connection and his flash site has slow-down more than once. Like most of flash AS3 sites. Not all the executives have time or like to deal with the flash loaders, that is a point to remember. Speed matters.
If you want speed with flash, you need to use AS2, not AS3, but then you loose interesting features. That is why if you run a flash site, it is always a good option to have an html alternative.
Commercially speaking, BCooter's site is very cleverly designed and programmed: http://russellrutherfordphoto.com/2/Artist...p;Akey=3F8X3JQW
this is a Lu-La member website that I like with 0% flash. I think it would please perfectly an AD or even worse in terms of estetismmaniaquism: an architect.
Fonts are perfectly rendered, design is there, usability is good, speed is perfect. Compatibility is high. So a non boring site is posible without flash.
Then, if you want an integrated control panel, nothing works better and faster than PHP+HTML, avoiding even java scripts as much as you can.
Jquery is fine but those are scripts and this is a jungle where the really stable solutions do not abund. So as much as possible, avoid scripts of any nature.
Remember that the phones and tablets are going to be the number one in internet traffic. I see here in the fashion world that they tend to use their phones quite a lot.
Even as a quick portfolio preview with the client. You need your site to be displayable on those devices, like it or not. IMO.