On average, you have approx. 8 seconds for your page to load before a majority of viewers will opt to leave. This means that you can have the most graphically appealing, content rich site, but if you can't meet acceptable load times, it won't matter.
I am not saying you have to rid your site of images, however by properly optimizing your graphics, you can have the best of both worlds.
Crop & Resize: When posting a picture, crop the image so that you include only the focal point of the image. There is no need to include a picture of a crowd, when you only need to display a single person within that crowd. Additionally, you can resize images to suit the actual size that is necessary to view it.
Compress: This is one of easiest ways to reduce the size of an image. Once you have your image in an acceptable viewing size, you should reduce your images bandwidth load by reducing enough bytes to where it is unnoticeable to the human eye, but allows the image load much faster on the browser.
Control Parameters: You should control your images and sites parameters within the code of your pages. By doing so, you tell it exactly what to do, so that it doesn’t have to decide itself. In defining these, always use uniform attributes and don't forget to surround the variables with quotations. In doing this the browser will know in advance how much space is required for a given image, and be able to move onto the next line of code instead of waiting for the entire image to load in order to find out.
CSS: To reduce the amount of code and information that must load on a page, you should build your site using CSS. In short, CSS hides all of the "tables" and leaves only the most pertinent information on the page. By hiding the bulk of the code, this allows the actual page to load faster.
Calibrate Coding: After optimizing your images and coding your site into CSS, you must then validate your site coding to remove any sloppy HTML and non-uniform attributes.