Personally, I think it's worth the time to distill line drawings from the photos. You end up without a lot of extraneous information in the "drawings" and a clearer representation of your invention and how it works.
Jim, I did some ghost writing for a patent attorney when I got my solo practice going. His approach was to submit purposefully vague (i.e., "rough") drawings with the initial application to give himself "wiggle room" during prosecution. I thought he was playing with fire, from my litigation days, but he insisted he was safe. By his logic, pictures would be great.