And the term "photo book" doesn't mean you're limited to photos only. It's easy enough to include text as captions, short blurbs or whole pages. My favorite layout for a two-page spread is a large, single photo on one side and a short, personal story about that photo on the other side. It's such a simple and powerful way to share stories.
Choose one of these ideas, or brainstorm your own, to create a 20-page photo book:
Meaningful Objects. "Objects are encoded with life stories," says author Alexandra Johnson, "Anything kept permanently on a desk, taken to college, hidden in a closet yet never to be parted with teems with stories." Take photos of 20 of your most beloved objects and write a short story (one that will easily fit on one page of your photo book) about each object.
Favorite Things. Choose a theme that says something about you. If you're obsessed with cars, make the book about 20 favorite cars you've owned (or wished you owned) and write a story about each. If you're a traveler, choose your top 20 favorite places you've visited. If you're a foodie, make the book about your favorite dishes. You get the drift...
Places You've Lived. If you're like me, you've moved around a bit over your lifetime. Find or take photos of 20 different places you've lived and write a story about each place. What was life like there? Who did you live with? Describe rooms in the house and events that took place there. Hint: if you can't find photos of the place, try using Google Earth or Google Maps in "street view" and capture images on your computer screen.
Memorabilia. Do you save theater ticket stubs and concert programs? Do you have a stash of handwritten love notes from the 8th grade? Do you have a silly souvenir from your trip to Hawaii? Take photos or scans of 20 of your favorite bits of personal ephemera. Write a little story that goes with each one—who were you with, when and where and why?