|Maybe I still don't get it - that sounds like normal to me (maybe a screen shot would help).|
Without using Apps, on my Windows 8.1 if I go to the "Pictures folder" from the desktop I see both folders that contain picture files and also some loose picture files (not put in folders). My folder icons show a representation of pictures files inside it. If I open a folder there are icons for all the pictures that are within it, which I can click open and slideshow if necessary.
Is yours different to this or is it all about your apps on the touch screen?
Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks