pdflatex is a good alternative to using the regular latex command because it bypasses the standard .dvi. to .ps to .pdf straight into making a PDF. It can also insert regular graphics files like JPEG, PNG, etc. However, it cannot by default handle postscript files like .eps files. Fortunately, most latex distributions will have the
epstopdf package that can be used in conjunction with the
graphicx package. Just include them in the header:
More information can be found here.