... I finally caved and purchased an actual editing program (Adobe Lightroom 5). And, being the instant-gratification kinda gal that I am, I immediately ran outside to my models, yelled some quick instructions at them (lie down there! look that way! don't stick that up your nose! DON'T EAT THAT!!) and shot some pictures in magical RAW format to experiment on.
And experiment I did. I have been at it non stop since last night; at first filled with arrogant delight that I was going to be that protege who would be able to just fiddle around with Lightroom for a few minutes and be an expert (I am able to use my camera without ever having so much as glanced at the manual, after all!) .... You'll be happy to know that three hours later I was grunting loudly, pulling out my hair by the fist full, and seeking out the help of experienced Lightroom gurus on YouTube whilst crying tears of humble repentance.
It's been a day. I have edited a handful of photos. I promise I will get better at this (meaning I intend to download every free Lightroom preset known to internets). Until then, here are the pictures: