Symms was under contract for The Augusta Chronicle and Augusta Herald from 1951-1961, what he once called the "boom town" days as the Savannah River Plant grew and Fort Gordon expanded. Symms won many awards for his photographs over the years.
Some of Symms’ most popular images came from a newspaper assignment of June 1956 performance of a young Elvis Presley before 6,000 screaming fans jammed into Bell Auditorium. When Elvis arrived Symms was awaiting for him with his Crown camera.
Most remember hearing Presley sing several hits including Hound Dog, which he would record a month later. However, Symms’ photos preserved their memories of the performance and continued to sell reprints over the next half-century.