Martin Elliott was the creator of 'Tennis Girl' - a worldwide best-seller, featuring his then girlfriend, 18-year-old Fiona Butler.
The picture, taken by Mr Elliott in 1976, sold more than two million copies worldwide.
Mr Elliot, 63, died peacefully at his home near Truro, Cornwall, last week following a 10-year battle with cancer.
His widow Noelle, who met her husband in 1987, described his early days as "crazy", and told the Cornish Guardian the image brought him worldwide acclaim.
She said: "Martin sold the image to Athena - who turned it into a poster - but he retained the copyright. I am still getting royalties to this day.
"They're only a few pence but because it has sold all over the world we have done well out of it."
Mr Elliott studied at the Birmingham School of Photography and went on to work in advertising with a studio in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter.
He retired to Cornwall 11 years ago after living in Stourbridge, in the West Midlands, and Portishead, Somerset.
His wife added: "Martin had a marvellous sense of humour and was a great joker. He always thought he would get better."
His funeral takes place at the Our Lady of the Portal St Piran's Church in Truro next Friday at 2.30pm