I presume these photos are email attachments?
The speed at which an image will upload (and download) is dependent upon two things: the size of the image file and the speed of your internet connection.
You say that you have "zipped" the photos, but you don't make clear what method of compression you have used. The actual physical size of the photo before you compress it is also important.
The most widely used image compression format is JPEG, and provided you're using a fairly competent image editing package, you should be offered a choice as to the degree of compression you want to apply.
What do you want the recipient of the photos to be able to do? Will they just look at them on their computer screen, or do you want them to able to produce high quality prints from them?
If the former, then you can send quite small, well compressed pictures.
If the latter, then you'll need to be patient and upload them as quite big files. In this case, it will also help if you know how large their intended prints will be.
As you can see, this is quite a complicated subject, so if you can post some more details about the ultimate intentions of the photo recipient, it will be easier for people to give you specific recommendations.