@ Kevin Free
A version of Slim will be released, likely next month, that will include a category drop down. You’ll be able to use CSS to hide the image placeholder if you don’t want it.
You can already password protect the directory. The option is on the Connections : Settings admin page under the General tab.
You can use WordPress users to manage the user name password and then use Link to allow users to maintain their entry rather than have email requests sent.
Hope that helps.