This teen broke into the set of 'Orange Is the New Black' and staged an amazing photo shoot

While some people might dream about breaking out of prison, Samantha Gardella, 19, dreamt of breaking in — so she did. 

The Monroe, New York, teenager was able to walk right onto the set of “Orange Is the New Black,” the Netflix show that centres around a women’s prison in upstate New York, last week.

Amazingly, no one tried to stop Gardella from wandering the premises and nothing was locked, so getting onto set was as easy as driving there, she told Business Insider. 

The Tumblr devotee and photography lover didn’t stop at walking around the set. She also created a photo series combining screen grabs from the show aligned with the real-life set. 



“Orange Is the New Black” uses the abandoned Rockland Children’s Psychiatric Center as a stand-in for a fictional women’s prison: Litchfield Correctional Facility. The show’s exteriors are shot there, while its interiors are mostly shot on a set in Queens.

Gardella posted photos of her unofficial set tour to her Tumblr on Saturday, and as of 3 p.m. Monday, the photos had accumulated over 88,255 notes.

In this shot, Gardella is holding a picture of fictional Litchfield Correction Officer Scott O’Neill exactly where he stands in a scene from the season two finale.


Gardella, who enjoys photography in her free time, only recently realised how close she lived to the set of her favourite show. 

“When I found out they filmed 25 minutes away from my house, I immediately thought it would be a great opportunity for me to go there and take pictures,” Gardella told Business Insider 0f the OITNB photo series.

Here’s one of Gardella’s pictures featuring Litchfield inmate Mei Chang in season three. 



Once she found the location, getting onto the premises was easy, she says.

“Since it’s abandoned, there is really no security,” Gardella said. “There were no crew members there that day and weirdly, everything was completely unlocked.”

In this image, Gardella recreates a mother-daughter moment between the characters Aleida and Dayanara Diaz from the show’s third season.



To produce the images, Gardella watched each season of OINTB and carefully screen-shotted all the outdoor scenes. When she got to the set, she wandered the property until she found each location. 

She snapped the creative images by holding her iPhone 4S in the hand that is not visible in her photos. 

In the below picture you can see several OINTB cast members wandering the Litchfield yard. Even the clouds match almost perfectly. 



Gardella’s inspiration for her Tumblr photos came came from the social media platform. She got the idea after seeing a similar-style photo that a user had taken on the set of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” she told Business Insider. 

This photo features a screen shot from season two in the the garden of the notorious Litchfield cook, Galina “Red” Reznikov.


Gardella considers herself to be a big OINTB fan and cites Poussey Washington and Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson as her favourite characters.

“I watch ‘Orange Is The New Black’ because it shows criminals being human,” Gardella said. “And we see what they were like before they were in prison. Getting the back stories of the inmates is one of the best parts of the series.”

For this picture, Gardella used a screen grab with four Litchfield inmates, including Marisol “Flaca” Gonzales and Dayanara “Daya” Diaz, who are on the far right of the image.


 Gardella also shot a video tour of “Litchfield.” Check it out below. 

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