UV consuming too much time?

I am modelling an art gallery with about 40 pictures on the wall. The problem I am finding is even using nodes, the UV process seems so cumbersome, to UV for each picture takes a very long time (also why does each unwrap appear on its side? even after resetting the UV and trying different options? weird?).
Is the best option to build all the canvases with a decent material, then add the images after in photoshop?

thanks

Have you tried using the Images as Planes addon to add your pictures
http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Extensions:2.6/Py/Scripts/Add_Mesh/Planes_from_Images

I HAVE NOW!!!

Nice! thanks.