Bryan Adams did not like being photographed for magazine spreads, and yet the Groover from Vancouver has become a successful snapper in his own right.

"I never enjoyed it. Perhaps that's why I have sympathy with people who don't enjoy the process, " the Canadian singer told Stern, the German publication, whose portfolio of his photographic works is now on display at Nunnington Hall, near York, in its first British showing after visits to Rome and Slovenia.

Simon Lee, the hall's property manager, had spotted Adams's work at the Canadian Embassy in London and contacted the 47-yearold musician. The British premiere was duly arranged, coinciding with Adams's British tour before the exhibition moves on to Budapest, Hungary.

In a flying visit to the hall between concerts in Glasgow and Manchester, Adams surveyed the 30 photographs in two rooms and a corridor at the National Trust property.

"Different, isn't it?" he said, looking around the hall where his portraits, formal and informal, of models and actresses, rock royalty, Barbara Cartland and The Queen now hang.

"This collection has never been shown anywhere in the UK before, although this is just a small part of it, " says Bryan.

"I was approached by Stern, who said, 'We'd like to do a real portfolio of your work for one whole issue of the magazine', and it was the first time I'd ever gone into my archive and put things together.

"It was very difficult to do, and a lot of work, but we made a final selection, and then I was approached by two or three places in Germany and other parts of Europe to put on an exhibition."

Adams recalls taking a camera on his first tour to document the work and the exploits of his fellow musicians. "But I won't be publishing those photographs, " he says.

Nevertheless, the self-taught Adams has gone on to do photoshoots for British Vogue, i-D, Vanity Fair and Harper's Bazaar, and latterly Bryan Ferry for those sartorial Marks & Spencer adverts.

"It was towards the end of the 1990s, when I decided I didn't want to spend my entire time on tour in my hotel room, that I started to take photographs of other things, " says Bryan.

Those other things? Let's have a look. Ooh, there is Posh Spice, leggy and lean and leather-gloved on a push bike (Victoria Beckham, Singer, London, England 2005, as he tags it).

Morrissey looking bored in his ornate bed in an Italian hotel.

Pamela Anderson in bare feet and somehow not quite bare up top, as she struts down a highway.

China-bone actress Helena Bonham-Carter with a mug of tea, and Barbara Cartland in her limpid, floral dotage, puffball of a pooch on her lap.

Adams has an uncanny knack too of photographing models, pop stars, whatever, without clothes, most strikingly, ooh-er, a nipplepierced Pink, who once remarked that it was time for female pop stars to start wearing more clothing (but obviously not on this occasion).

He calls his photography a "great diversion", and this is best shown in his black and white works. "I just mess around until I see something I like. It's the idea of creating something from nothing but it's also creating art. I know that, with a little luck, I can do great work, " he says.

His best work is often more a journalistic snap than a pose, be it his mother in a shower of petals at a Peak District church door, Keith Richards in party mode, the Pope (Pope Pope, Vatican, Italy 2000) in familiar white surrounded by emissaries in black, or the half-hidden yet distinctive features of Ray Charles: head thrust back, those pearly teeth in a crescent smile, and the trademark dark glasses.

Adams took the picture in London in 2002, a year before the veteran soul man died. "He's my idol. He was doing a show and I didn't have tickets, so I took my bike down and went to the back door and said 'hi', " Bryan recalls.

"I asked if there was any chance I could come in and the security guards went and got his tour manager. The next thing I know I was hanging out with Ray Charles."

Well, being Bryan Adams no doubt helped!

One of Bryan's photographs ended up on a Canadian stamp, when he was among photographers from the Commonwealth invited to invited photograph The Queen during her Golden Jubilee in 2004.

He had only five minutes to film Her Majesty - or Queen Queen as he captions the frame - with a "chunky 10 x 8 camera", umbrella and wellies by her side, smile on her face. What was amusing The Queen? "I think it was something to do with the boots - the row of wellies, " Bryan reveals.

Bryan Adams, Portfolio, A Major Exhibition of Photographs, runs at Nunnington Hall, near Helmsley, until June 10.