Simon Nellist, from Wolli Creek, was swimming at Little Bay when he was attacked just after 4.30pm on Wednesday.
It was Sydney's first fatal shark attack since 1963 at Sugarloaf Bay in Middle Harbour.
Nellist, who was born in the UK, was remembered by his family as being a "very talented photographer".
"Simon was a gentle, kind and wonderful human being. He was a cherished fiancee, son, brother, uncle and friend," his family told the BBC.