My portfolio items are simply photographs. They do not need a heading, description, or comments. Because of this, I don’t really need the images in the portfolio grid to link to the associated post. I want to see the grid of images and then click on one and have it bring up the lightbox view of the images. This seems like it would be a pretty common way to use the portfolio.
1) Is there a way to do this through the theme, because I haven’t been able to find it?
2) Assuming there isn’t a way to do it automatically, which file in the theme would I need to modify to fix it?
no it’s not possible by default. You can use plugins like nextgen gallery or you’ll need to modify template-portfolio.php. Basically you need to remove all the text content stuff and get the gallery images/attached images instead. Then you need to write some code to output these images as hidden prettyphoto links.
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