Colin Kearley, left, joined the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald in 1963 and remained with the Newsquest-owned title for the rest of his career.
Originally from Ealing in west London, Colin became hooked on photography when he got his photographer’s badge at Scouts.
Colin, who had been fighting cancer, died on Saturday evening.
Gazette editor Gary Lawrence said: “I look back at the time I spent working with Colin, more than ten years, and I consider it a privelege to have been in his company that long.
“Not only was he an excellent professional and a dedicated journalist, he was a lovely, kind and ever-cheerful family man who cherished his time at home.
“He loved the Gazette and the patch he worked in and that shone out through the pictures he produced. And he was incredibly popular in the towns where he worked, he knew everyone and he always had a smile and a joke for them.
“It is a sad day for the Gazette, and a sad day for Wiltshire.”
Dave Bunton, the former chief photographer at the Wiltshire Times, described Colin as “one of the hardest working, conscientious photographers I ever worked with.
“He worked at the Wiltshire Gazette while I was at the Wiltshire Times, overlapping jobs mainly in the Chippenham and Devizes areas. He knew almost everyone and was always courteous and polite.
“In later years when I freelanced I did regular shifts for the Gazette working for Colin. He knew how to work the photo diary backwards, knowing what could or could not be done, always thinking ahead , often changing things from over zealous reporters. He had tremendous local knowledge and contacts.
“It is a sad day for the Wiltshire Gazette and Devizes. My wife, Pat, and I socialised and kept in regular contact with Colin and his wife Marion after we both retired, we would reminisce about the ‘good old days’.”