Is there a way to use a nodereference field on each individual image in a node? The images are CCK imagefields.
I don't think so, no. A node reference as its name suggests references an entire node. I've not heard of a CCK type that references another CCK field, though I could find a reference to a module that did that for D5. If that's your requirement, my recommendation would be to use an image-as-node method.